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3  3333  15300  0530 





With  Illustrations  from  Etchings  and  Drawings  by 
Abraham  Phillips  and  from  Photographs 


COPYRIGHT.  1915. 


November,  1938 

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MUCH  of  the  material  contained  in  this  book 
has  been  published  in  a  series  of  six  articles 
that  appeared  in  the  Atlantic  Monthly  from 
March  to  August,  1915.  And  indeed  it  was 
due  to  the  kindly  insistence  on  the  part  of  the 
editors  of  that  magazine  that  more  perma- 
nent form  should  be  given  to  the  record  of 
the  House  on  Henry  Street  that  the  story  was 
published  at  all. 

During  the  two  decades  of  the  existence  of 
the  Settlement  there  has  been  a  significant 
awakening  on  matters  of  social  concern,  par- 
ticularly those  affecting  the  protection  of  chil- 
dren throughout  society  in  general;  and  a 
new  sense  of  responsibility  has  been  aroused 
among  men  and  women,  but  perhaps  more 
distinctively  among  women,  since  the  period 
coincides  with  their  freer  admission  to  public 
and  professional  life.  The  Settlement  is  in 
itself  an  expression  of  this  sense  of  responsi- 
bility, and  under  its  robf  many  divergent  groups 
have  come  together  to  discuss  measures  "  for 
the  many,  mindless  ,  mass  that  most  needs 
helping/'  and  often  to  assert  by  deed  their 
faith  in  democracy.  'Some  have  found  in  the 
Settlement  an  opportunity  for  self-realization 



that  in  the  more  fixed  and  older  institutions 
has  not  seemed  possible. 

I  cannot  acknowledge  by  name  the  many 
individuals  who,  by  gift  of  money  and  through 
understanding  and  confidence,  through  work 
and  thought  and  sharing  of  the  burdens, 
have  helped  to  build  the  House  on  Henry 
Street.  These  colleagues  have  come  all 
through  the  years  that  have  followed  since 
the  little  girl  led  me  to  her  rear  tenement 
home.  Though  we  are  working  together  as 
comrades  for  a  common  cause,  I  cannot  resist 
this  opportunity  to  express  my  profound  per- 
sonal gratitude  for  the  precious  gifts  that  have 
been  so  abundantly  given.  The  first  friends 
who  gave  confidence  and  support  to  an  un- 
known and  unexperimented  venture  have  re- 
mained staunch  and  loyal  builders  of  the  House. 
And  the  younger  generation  with  their  gifts 
have  developed  the  plans  of  the  House  and 
have  found  inspiration  while  they  have  given  it. 

In  the  making  of  the  book,  much  help  has 
come  from  these  same  friends,  and  I  should 
be  quite  overwhelmed  with  the  debt  I  owe 
did  I  not  feel  that  all  of  us  who  have  worked 
together  have  worked  not  only  for  each  other 
but  for  the  cause  of  human  progress;  that  is 
the  beginning  and  should  be  the  end  of  the 
House  on  Henry  Street. 




I.    THE  EAST  SIDE  Two  DECADES  AGO  ...  i 

II.     ESTABLISHING  THE  NURSING  SERVICE      .       .  26 



V.    EDUCATION  AND  THE  CHILD      ....  97 





X.    YOUTH 189 

XI.    YOUTH  AND  TRADES  UNIONS    ....  201 
XII.    WEDDINGS  AND  SOCIAL  HALLS    ,       .       .       .216 



XV.  SOCIAL  FORCES,  Continued 270 

XVI.    NEW  AMERICANS  AND  OUR  POLICIES      .       .  286 

INDEX 313 



THE  HOUSE  ON  HENRY  STREET    .....  Frontispiece 

Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 


UNIFORM,  1893   ...........        6 


Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 
THE  NURSE  IN  THE  TENEMENT    ........      28 


THE  CHILDREN  PLAY  ON  OUR  ROOF    .......    82 


THINGS  THEY  SING  ABOUT    ........      90 


HENRY  STREET  SETTLEMENT    ........     162 


i  vJ-Ki\.  ••••••*•••••*          X  /  C/ 

Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 

ESTHER         .............     182 

Drawing  by  Esther  J.  Peck 


Drawing  by  Abraham  Phillips 

IN  A  CLUB-ROOM       ...........     192 

Drawing  by  Abraham  Phillips 

AFTER  THE  LONG  DAY     ..........    204 

Drawing  by  Abraham  Phillips 

SETTLEMENT        ...........    214 





Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 




Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 


Etching  by  Abraham  Phillips 

THE  DRAMATIC  CLUB  PRESENTED  "THE  SHEPHERD"     .       .       .     272 


Photograph  by  Louis  Hines 





A  SICK  woman  in  a  squalid  rear  tenement, 
so  wretched  and  so  pitiful  that,  in  all  the 
years  since,  I  have  not  seen  anything  more  ap- 
pealing, determined  me,  within  half  an  hour, 
to  live  on  the  East  Side. 

I  had  spent  two  years  in  a  New  York  train- 
ing-school for  nurses;  strenuous  years  for  an 
undisciplined,  untrained  girl,  but  a  wonderful 
human  experience.  After  graduation,  I  sup- 
plemented the  theoretical  instruction,  which 
was  casual  and  inconsequential  in  the  hospital 
classes  twenty-five  years  ago,  by  a  period  of 
study  at  a  medical  college.  It  was  while  at 
the  college  that  a  great  opportunity  came 
to  me. 

I  had  little  more  than  an  inspiration  to  be 
of  use  in  some  way  or  somehow,  and  going 
to  the  hospital  seemed  the  readiest  means  of 
realizing  my  desire.  While  there,  the  long 
hours  "  on  duty  '  and  the  exhausting  demands 


of  the  ward  work  scarcely  admitted  freedom 
for  keeping  informed  as  to  what  was  happen- 
ing in  the  world  outside.  The  nurses  had  no 
time  for  general  reading;  visits  to  and  from 
friends  were  brief;  we  were  out  of  the  current 
and  saw  little  of  life  save  as  it  flowed  into  the 
hospital  wards.  It  is  not  strange,  therefore, 
that  I  should  have  been  ignorant  of  the  various 
movements  which  reflected  the  awakening  of 
the  social  conscience  at  the  time,  or  of  the  birth 
of  the  "  settlement,"  which  twenty-five  years 
ago  was  giving  form  to  a  social  protest  in  Eng- 
land and  America.  Indeed,  it  was  not  until 
the  plan  of  our  work  on  the  East  Side  was  well 
developed  that  knowledge  came  to  me  of  other 
groups  of  people  who,  reacting  to  a  humane  or 
an  academic  appeal,  were  adopting  this  mode 
of  expression  and  calling  it  a  "  settlement." 

Two  decades  ago  the  words  "  East  Side ' 
called  up  a  vague  and  alarming  picture  of 
something  strange  and  alien:  a  vast  crowded 
area,  a  foreign  city  within  our  own,  for  whose 
conditions  we  had  no  concern.  Aside  from  its 
exploiters,  political  and  economic,  few  people 
had  any  definite  knowledge  of  it,  and  its  lit- 
erary '  discovery  '  had  but  just  begun. 

The  lower  East  Side  then  reflected  the  popu- 
lar indifference — it  almost  seemed  contempt — 
for  the  living  conditions  of  a  huge  population. 


And  the  possibility  of  improvement  seemed, 
when  my  inexperience  was  startled  into 
thought,  the  more  remote  because  of  the  dumb 
acceptance  of  these  conditions  by  the  East 
Side  itself.  Like  the  rest  of  the  world  I  had 
known  little  of  it,  when  friends  of  a  philan- 
thropic institution  asked  me  to  do  something 
for  that  quarter. 

Remembering  the  families  who  came  to 
visit  patients  in  the  wards,  I  outlined  a  course 
of  instruction  in  home  nursing  adapted  to  their 
needs,  and  gave  it  in  an  old  building  in  Henry 
Street,  then  used  as  a  technical  school  and  now 
part  of  the  settlement.  Henry  Street  then  as  now 
was  the  center  of  a  dense  industrial  popula- 


From  the  schoolroom  where  I  had  been  giv- 
ing a  lesson  in  bed-making,  a  little  girl  led 
me  one  drizzling  March  morning.  She  had 
told  me  of  her  sick  mother,  and  gathering  from 
her  incoherent  account  that  a  child  had  been 
born,  I  caught  up  the  paraphernalia  of  the 
bed-making  lesson  and  carried  it  with  me. 

The   child   led   me  over  broken  roadways, — 

there  was  no  asphalt,  although  its  use  was 
well  established  in  other  parts  of  the  city, — 
over  dirty  mattresses  and  heaps  of  refuse, — it 
was  before  Colonel  Waring  had  shown  the  pos- 
sibility of  clean  streets  even  in  that  quarter, — 
between  tall,  reeking  houses  whose  laden  fire- 
escapes,  useless  for  their  appointed  purpose, 
bulged  with  household  goods  of  every  descrip- 
tion. The  rain  added  to  the  dismal  appearance 
of  the  streets  and  to  the  discomfort  of  the  crowds 
which  thronged  them,  intensifying  the  odors 


which  assailed  me  from  every  side.  Through 
Hester  and  Division  streets  we  went  to  the  end 
of  Ludlow;  past  odorous  fish-stands,  for  the 
streets  were  a  market-place,  unregulated,  unsu- 
pervised,  unclean;  past  evil-smelling,  uncovered 
garbage-cans;  and — perhaps  worst  of  all,  where 

so  many  little  children  played — past  the  trucks 
brought  down  from  more  fastidious  quarters 
and  stalled  on  these  already  overcrowded 
streets,  lending  themselves  inevitably  to  many 
forms  of  indecency. 

The  child  led  me  on  through  a  tenement 
hallway,  across  a  court  where  open  and  un- 
screened closets  were  promiscuously  used  by 


men  and  women,  up  into  a  rear  tenement,  by 
slimy  steps  whose  accumulated  dirt  was  aug- 
mented that  day  by  the  mud  of  the  streets, 
and  finally  into  the  sickroom. 

All  the  maladjustments  of  our  social  and 
economic  relations  seemed  epitomized  in  this 
brief  journey  and  what  was  found  at  the  end 
of  it.  The  family  to  which  the  child  led  me 
was  neither  criminal  nor  vicious.  Although 
the  husband  was  a  cripple,  one  of  those  who 
stand  on  street  corners  exhibiting  deformities 
to  enlist  compassion,  and  masking  the  begging 
of  alms  by  a  pretense  at  selling;  although  the 
family  of  seven  shared  their  two  rooms  with 
boarders, — who  were  literally  boarders,  since 
a  piece  of  timber  was  placed  over  the  floor  for 
them  to  sleep  on, — and  although  the  sick 
woman  lay  on  a  wretched,  unclean  bed,  soiled 
with  a  hemorrhage  two  days  old,  they  were 
not  degraded  human  beings,  judged  by  any 
measure  of  moral  values. 

In  fact,  it  was  very  plain  that  they  were 
sensitive  to  their  condition,  and  when,  at  the 
end  of  my  ministrations,  they  kissed  my  hands 
(those  who  have  undergone  similar  experiences 
will,  I  am  sure,  understand),  it  would  have 
been  some  solace  if  by  any  conviction  of  the 
moral  unworthiness  of  the  family  I  could  have 
defended  myself  as  a  part  of  a  society  which 












•  *-» 





permitted  such  conditions  to  exist.  Indeed, 
my  subsequent  acquaintance  with  them  re- 
vealed the  fact  that,  miserable  as  their  state 
was,  they  were  not  without  ideals  for  the  family 

life,   and   for   society,   of  which   they   were   so 
unloved  and  unlovely  a  part. 

That  morning's  experience  was  a  baptism  of 
fire.  Deserted  were  the  laboratory  and  the 
academic  work  of  the  college.  I  never  re- 
turned to  them.  On  my  way  from  the  sick- 
room to  my  comfortable  student  quarters  my 


mind  was  intent  on  my  own  responsibility.  To 
my  inexperience  it  seemed  certain  that  con- 
ditions such  as  these  were  allowed  because 
people  did  not  know,  and  for  me  there  was  a 
challenge  to  know  and  to  tell.  When  early 
morning  found  me  still  awake,  my  naive  con- 
viction remained  that,  if  people  knew  things, — 
and  "  things  '  meant  everything  implied  in  the 
condition  of  this  family, — such  horrors  would 
cease  to  exist,  and  I  rejoiced  that  I  had  had  a 
training  in  the  care  of  the  sick  that  in  itself  would 
give  me  an  organic  relationship  to  the  neighbor- 
hood in  which  this  awakening  had  come. 

To  the  first  sympathetic  friend  to  whom  I 
poured  forth  my  story,  I  found  myself  present- 
ing a  plan  which  had  been  developing  almost 
without  conscious  mental  direction  on  my  part. 
It  was  doubtless  the  accumulation  of  many 
reflections  inspired  by  acquaintance  with  the 
patients  in  the  hospital  wards,  and  now,  with 
the  Ludlow  Street  experience,  resistlessly  im- 
pelling me  to  action. 

Within  a  day  or  two  a  comrade  from  the 
training-school,  Mary  Brewster,  agreed  to  share 
in  the  venture.  We  were  to  live  in  the  neigh- 
borhood as  nurses,  identify  ourselves  with  it 
socially,  and,  in  brief,  contribute  to  it  our  citi- 


zenship.  That  plan  contained  in  embryo  all  the 
extended  and  diversified  social  interests  of  our 
settlement  group  to-day. 

We  set  to  work  immediately  to  find  quarters 
— no  easy  task,  as  we  clung  to  the  civilization 
of  a  bathroom,  and  ac- 
cording  to  a  legend  cur- 
rent at  the  time  there 
were  only  two  bathrooms 
in  tenement  houses  below 
Fourteenth  Street.  Chance 
helped  us  here.  A  young 
woman  who  for  years 
played  an  important  part 
in  the  life  of  many  East 
Side  people,  overhearing 
a  conversation  of  mine 
with  a  fellow-student,,  gave  me  an  introduction 
to  two  men  who,  she  said,  knew  all  about  the 
quarter  of  the  city  which  I  wished  to  enter.  I 
called  on  them  immediately,  and  their  response 
to  my  need  was  as  prompt.  Without  stopping 
to  inquire  into  my  antecedents  or  motives,  or  to 
discourse  on  the  social  aspects  of  the  com- 
munity, of  which,  I  soon  learned,  they  were 
competent  to  speak  with  authority,  they  set 
out  with  me  at  once,  in  a  pouring  rain,  to  scour 
the  adjacent  streets  for  "  To  Let '  signs.  One 
which  seemed  to  me  worth  investigating  my 


newly  acquired  friends  discarded  with  the  ex- 
planation that  it  was  in  the  "  red  light '  dis- 
trict and  would  not  do.  Later  I  was  to  know 
much  of  the  unfortunate  women  who  inhabited 
the  quarter,  but  at  the  time  the  term  meant 
nothing  to  me. 

After  a  long  tour  one  of  my  guides,  as  if  by 
inspiration,  reminded  the  other  that  several 
young  women  had  taken  a  house  on  Rivington 
Street  for  something  like  my  purpose,  and  per- 
haps I  had  better  live  there  temporarily  and 
take  my  time  in  finding  satisfactory  quarters. 
Upon  that  advice  I  acted,  and  within  a  few 
days  Miss  Brewster  and  I  found  ourselves 
guests  at  the  luncheon  table  of  the  College  Set- 
tlement on  Rivington  Street.  With  ready  hos- 
pitality they  took  us  in,  and,  during  July  and 
August,  we  were  "  residents '  in  stimulating 
comradeship  with  serious  women,  who  were 
also  the  fortunate  possessors  of  a  saving  sense 
of  humor. 

Before  September  of  the  year  1893  we  found 
a  house  on  Jefferson  Street,  the  only  one  in 
which  our  careful  search  disclosed  the  desired 
bathtub.  It  had  other  advantages — the  vacant 
floor  at  the  top  (so  high  that  the  windows 
along  the  entire  side  wall  gave  us  sun  and 
breeze),  and,  greatest  lure  of  all,  the  warm 
welcome  which  came  to  us  from  the  basement, 


where  we  found  the  janitress  ready  to  answer 
questions  as  to  terms. 

Naturally,  objections  to  two  young  women 
living  alone  in  New  York  under  these  condi- 
tions had  to  be  met,  and  some  assurance  as 
to  our  material  comfort  was  given  to  anxious, 
though  at  heart  sympathetic,  families  by  com- 
promising on  good  furniture,  a  Baltimore  heater 
for  cheer,  and  simple  but  adequate  household 
appurtenances.  Painted  floors  with  easily  re- 
moved rugs,  windows  curtained  with  spotless 
but  inexpensive  scrim,  a  sitting-room  with  pic- 
tures, books,  and  restful  chairs,  a  tiny  bed- 
room which  we  two  shared,  a  small  dining- 
room  in  which  the  family  mahogany  did  not 
look  out  of  place,  and  a  kitchen,  constituted 
our  home  for  two  full  years. 

The  much-esteemed  bathroom,  small  and 
dark,  was  in  the  hall,  and  necessitated  early 
rising  if  we  were  to  have  the  use  of  it;  for,  as 
we  became  known,  we  had  many  callers  anx- 
ious to  see  us  before  we  started  on  our  sick 
rounds.  The  diminutive  closet-space  was  di- 
vided to  hold  the  bags  and  equipment  we 
needed  from  day  to  day,  and  more  ample  store- 
closets  were  given  us  by  the  kindly  people  in 
the  school  where  I  had  first  given  lessons  to 
East  Side  mothers.  Any  pride  in  the  sacrifice 
of  material  comfort  which  might  have  risen 


within  us  was  effectually  inhibited  by  the  con- 
stant reminder  that  we  two  young  persons 
occupied  exactly  the  same  space  as  the  large 
families  on  every  floor  below  us,  and  to  one 

of  our  basement  friends  at 
least  we  were  luxurious  be- 
yond the  dreams  of  ordinary 

The  little  lad  from  the 
basement  was  our  first  in- 
vited guest.  The  simple  but 
appetizing  dinner  my  com- 
rade prepared,  while  I  set  the 
table  and  placed  the  flowers. 
The  boy's  mother  came  up 
later  in  the  evening  to  find 
out  what  we  had  given  him, 
for  Tommie  had  rushed  down  with  eyes  bulg- 
ing and  had  reported  that  "  them  ladies  live 
like  the  Queen  of  England  and  eat  off  of  solid 
gold  plates/' 

We  learned  the  most  efficient  use  of  the  fire- 
escape  and  felt  many  times  blessed  because  of 
our  easy  access  to  the  roof.  We  also  learned 
the  infinite  uses  to  which  stairs  can  be  put. 
Later  we  achieved  "  local  color '  in  our  rooms 
by  the  addition  of  interesting  pieces  of  brass 
and  copper  purchased  from  a  man  on  Allen 
Street  whom  we  and  several  others  had  "  dis- 


covered/3  His  little  dark  shop  under  the  ele- 
vated railway  was  fitfully  illuminated  by  the 
glowing  forge.  On  our  first  visit  the  pro- 
prietor emerged  from  a  still  darker  inner  room 
with  prayer-shawl  and  phylactery.  He  became 
one  of  our  pleasant  acquaintances  and  lost  no 
occasion  of  acknowledging  what  he  considered 

his  debt  to  the  appreciative  customers  who  had 
helped  to  make  him  and  his  wares  known  to  a 
wider  circle  than  that  of  the  neighborhood. 

The  mere  fact  of  living  in  the  tenement 
brought  undreamed-of  opportunities  for  widen- 
ing our  knowledge  and  extending  our  human 
relationships.  That  we  were  Americans  was 
wonderful  to  our  fellow-tenants.  They  were 
all  immigrants — Jews  from  Russia  or  Rou- 
mania.  The  sole  exception  was  the  janitress, 
Mrs.  McRae,  who  at  once  dedicated  herself  and 
her  entire  family  to  the  service  of  the  top  floor. 
Dear  Mrs.  McRae!  From  her  basement  home 


she  covered  us  with  her  protecting  love  and 
was  no  small  influence  in  holding  us  to  sanity. 
Humor,  astuteness,  and  sympathy  were  needed 
and  these  she  gave  in  abundance. 

It  was  vouchsafed  us  to  know  many  fine  per- 
sonalities who  influenced  and  guided  us  from  the 
first  few  weeks  of  residence  in  the  friendly  col- 
lege settlement  through 
the  many  years  that 
have  followed.  The  two 
women  who  stand  out 
with  greatest  distinction 
from  the  first  are  this 
pure-souled  Scotch-Irish 
immigrant  and  Josephine 
Shaw  Lowell.  Both,  if 
they  were  here,  would 
understand  the  tribute  in 
linking  them  together. 
Occasionally  Mrs.  McRae  would  feel  im- 
pelled to  reprove  us  for  "  overdoing  '  ourselves, 
and  from  our  top  story  we  were  hard  pushed 
to  save  visitors  from  being  sent  away  when  she 
thought  we  needed  to  finish  a  meal  or  go  to 
bed.  Cautious  as  we  were  not  to  make  any 
distinctions  in  commenting  upon  the  visitors 
who  came  to  see  us,  she  made  her  own  deduc- 
tions. At  whatever  hour  we  returned,  she 
would  be  at  the  door  to  welcome  us  and  to 


report  on  the  happenings  during  our  absence. 
"So-and-so  was  here":  shrewd  descriptions 
which  often  enabled  us  to  identify  individuals 
when  names  were  forgotten.  "  Lots  of  visitors 
to-night,"  she  would  report.  "  Were  messages 
left,  or  names?'  we  would  naturally  inquire. 
"  No,  darlints,  nothing  at  all.  I  know  sure 
they  didn't  bring  you  anything." 

The  key  to  our  apartments,  usually  left  with 
her,  was  one  day  forgotten,  and  when,  upon 
unlocking  the  door,  we  saw  a  well-known  so- 
ciety woman  seated  in  our  little  living-room, 
we  were  naturally  puzzled  to  know  how  she 
had  arrived  there.  Mrs.  McRae  explained  that 
she  had  taken  her  up  the  fire-escape! — no 
slight  venture  and  exertion  for  the  inexperi- 
enced. We  suggested  that  other  ways 
might  have  been  more  agreeable  and  safer. 
"Whisht,"  said  Mrs.  McRae,  with  a  smile  and 
a  wink,  "  it's  no  harm  at  all.  She'll  be  havin' 
lots  of  talk  for  her  friends  on  this." 

When  her  roving  husband  died  at  home, 
the  funeral  arrangements  were  given  a  last 
touch  by  Mrs.  McRae,  who  placed  on  the  casket 
his  tobacco  and  pipe  and  ordered  the  procession 
to  pass  his  tenement  home  twice  before  driving 
to  the  cemetery,  "  So  he'd  not  think  we  were 
not  for  forgivin'  him  and  hurryin'  him  away." 

Her  first  love  went  to  my  comrade,  whose 


beauty  and  humor  and  goodness  captured  her 
Celtic  heart.  During  our  second  year  in  the 
tenement  Miss  Brewster  was  taken  seriously 
ill,  and  one  evening  we  had  at  last  succeeded 
in  forcing  Mrs.  McRae  to  go  home  and  had 
locked  the  door.  Unknown  to  us  the  dear 
friend  remained  on  the  floor  outside  all  through 
the  night,  trying  to  catch  the  sound  of  life 
from  the  loved  one. 

Bringing  up  a  large  family,  with  no  help 
from  the  "  old  man,"  and  with  stern  ideals  of 
conduct  and  integrity,  was  not  easy.  Some 
of  her  children,  endowed  with  her  character, 
gave  her  solace,  but  she  was  too  astute  not 
to  estimate  each  one  properly. 

When  we  moved  from  the  tenement  to  our 
first  house  Mrs.  McRae  and  her  family  gave  up 
the  basement  rooms,  which  were  rent  free  be- 
cause of  her  janitor  service,  in  order  to  be  near 
us,  and  she  spread  her  warmth  over  the  new 
abode.  When,  some  years  later,  she  was  ill  and 
we  knew  that  the  end  was  near,  one  close  to 
me  in  my  own  family  claimed  my  attention. 
Torn  between  the  two  affections,  I  was  loath 
to  leave  the  city  while  Mrs.  McRae  was  so 
ill.  She  guessed  the  cause  of  my  perturbed 
state  and  advised  me  to  go.  "  Darlin',  you 
ought  to  go.  You  go.  I  promise  not  to  die 
until  you  come  back/' 


Letters    kept    up    this    assurance    and    the 
promise  was  fulfilled. 

Times  were  hard  that  year.  In  the  summer 
the  miseries  due  to  unemployment  and  rising 
rents  and  prices  began  to  be  apparent,  but  the 
pinch  came  with  the  cold  weather.  Perhaps 
it  was  an  advantage  that  we  were  so  early 
exposed  to  the  extraordinary  sufferings  and  the 
variety  of  pain  and  poverty  in  that  winter  of 
1893-94,  memorable  because  of  extreme  eco- 
nomic depression.  The  impact  of  strain,  physi- 
cal and  emotional,  left  neither  place  nor  time 
for  self-analysis  and  consequent  self-conscious- 
ness, so  prone  to  hinder  and  to  dwarf  whole- 
some instincts,  and  so  likely  to  have  proved  an 
impediment  to  the  simple  relationship  which 
we  established  with  our  neighbors. 

It  has  become  almost  trite  to  speak  of  the 
kindness  of  the  poor  to  each  other,  yet  from 
the  beginning  of  our  tenement-house  residence 
we  were  much  touched  by  manifestations  of  it. 
An  errand  took  me  to  Michael  the  Scotch-Irish 
cobbler  as  the  family  were  sitting  down  to  the 
noonday  meal.  There  was  a  stranger  with 
them,  whom  Michael  introduced,  explaining 
when  we  were  out  of  hearing  that  he  thought 
I  would  be  interested  to  meet  a  man  just  out 


of  Sing  Sing  prison.  I  expressed  some  fear  of 
the  danger  to  his  own  boys  in  this  association. 
"  We  must  just  chance  it,"  said  Michael.  "  It's 
no  weather  for  a  man  like  that  to  be  on  the 
streets,  when  honest  fellows  can't  get  work." 

When  we  first  met  the  G family  they 

were  breaking  up  the  furniture  to  keep  from 
freezing.  One  of  the  children  had  died  and 
had  been  buried  in  a  public  grave.  Three  times 
that  year  did  Mrs.  G painfully  gather  to- 
gether enough  money  to  have  the  baby  disin- 
terred and  fittingly  buried  in  consecrated 
ground,  and  each  time  she  gave  up  her  heart's 
desire  in  order  to  relieve  the  sufferings  of  the 
living  children  of  her  neighbors. 

Another  instance  of  this  unfailing  goodness 
of  the  poor  to  each  other  was  told  by  Nellie, 
who  called  on  us  one  morning.  She  was  evi- 
dently embarrassed,  and  with  difficulty  related 
that,  hearing  of  things  to  be  given  away  at  a 
newspaper  office,  she  had  gone  there  hoping 
to  get  something  that  would  do  for  John  when 
he  came  out  of  the  hospital.  She  said,  "  I  drew 
this  and  I  don't  know  exactly  what  it  is  meant 
for,"  and  displayed  a  wadded  black  satin  "  dress- 
shirt  protector,"  in  very  good  condition,  and 
possibly  contributed  because  the  season  was 
over!  Standing  outside  the  circle  of  clamor- 
ous petitioners,  Nellie  and  the  woman  next  her 


had  exchanged  tales  of  woe.  When  she  men- 
tioned her  address  the  new  acquaintance  sug- 
gested that  she  seek  us. 

Nellie  proved  to  be  a  near  neighbor.  There 
were  two  children:  a  nursing  baby  "none  so 
well/'  and  a  lad.  John,  her  husband,  was  "  for- 
tunately '  in  the  hospital  with  a  broken  leg,  for 
there  were  "  no  jobs  around  loose  anyway." 
When  we  called  later  in  the  day  to  see  the 
baby,  we  found  that  Nellie  was  stopping  with 
her  cousin,  a  widower  who  "  held  his  job 
down/3  There  were  also  his  two  children,  the 
widow  of  a  friend  "  who  would  have  done  as 
much  by  me/'  and  the  wife  and  two  small 
children  of  a  total  stranger  who  lived  in  the 
rear  tenement  and  were  invited  in  to  meals  be- 
cause the  father  had  been  seen  starting  every 
morning  on  his  hunt  for  work,  and  '  it  was 
plain  for  anyone  with  eyes  to  see  that  he  never 
did  get  it."  So  this  one  man,  fortunate  in  hav- 
ing work,  was  taking  care  of  himself  and  his 
children,  the  widow  of  his  friend,  Nellie  and 
her  children,  and  was  feeding  the  strangers. 
Said  Nellie:  "Sure  he's  doing  that,  and  why 
not?  He's  the  only  cousin  I've  got  outside  of 

Mrs.  S ,  who  called  at  the  settlement  a  few 

days  ago,  reminded  me  that  it  was  twenty-one 
years  since  our  first  meeting,  and  brought 


vividly  before  me  a  picture  of  which  she  was  a 
part.  She  was  the  daughter  of  a  learned  rabbi, 
and  her  husband,  himself  a  pious  man,  had 
great  reverence  for  the  traditions  of  her  family. 
In  their  extremity  they  had  taken  bread  from 
one  of  the  newspaper  charities,  but  it  was  evi- 
dently a  painful  humilia- 
tion, and  before  we  arrived 
they  had  hidden  the  loaf  in 
the  ice-box.  My  visit  was 
due  to  a  desire  to  ascertain 
the  condition  of  the  fami- 
lies who  had  applied  for  this 
dole.  Both  house  and  peo- 
ple were  scrupulously  clean. 
It  was  amazing  that  under 
the  biting  pressure  of  want 
and  anxiety  such  standards 
could  be  maintained.  Yet, 
though  passionately  devoted 
to  his  family,  the  husband  refused  advantageous 
employment  because  it  necessitated  work  on 
the  Sabbath.  This  would  have  been  to  them 
a  desecration  of  something  more  vital  than 
life  itself. 

We  found  that  winter,  in  other  instances, 
that  the  fangs  of  the  wolf  were  often  decor- 
ously hidden.  In  one  family  of  our  acquaint- 
ance the  father,  a  cigarmaker,  left  the  house 


each  morning  in  search  of  work,  only  to  return 
at  night  hungrier  and  more  exhausted  by  his 
fruitless  exertions.  One  Sabbath  eve  I  entered 
his  tenement,  to  find  the  two  rooms  scrubbed 
and  cleaned,  and  the  mother  and  children  pre- 
pared for  the  holy  night.  Over  a  brisk  fire  fed 
by  bits  of  wood  picked  up  by  the  children  two 
covered  pots  were  set,  as  if  a  supper  were  being 
prepared.  But  under  the  lids  it  was  only  water 
that  bubbled.  The  proud  mother  could  not 
bear  to  expose  her  poverty  to  the  gossip  of  the 
neighbors,  the  humiliation  being  the  greater 
because  she  was  obliged  to  violate  the  sacred 
custom  of  preparing  a  ceremonious  meal  for 
the  united  family  on  Friday  night. 

If  the  formalism  of  our  neighbors  in  re- 
ligious matters  was  constantly  brought  to  our 
attention,  instances  of  their  tolerance  were  also 
far  from  rare.  A  Jewish  woman,  exhausted  by 
her  long  day's  scrubbing  of  office  floors,  walked 
many  extra  blocks  to  beg  us  to  get  a  priest  for 
her  Roman  Catholic  neighbor  whose  child  was 
dying.  An  orthodox  Jewish  father,  who  had 
been  goaded  to  bitterness  because  his  daughter 
had  married  an  "  Irisher '  and  thus  "  insulted 
his  religion/'  felt  that  the  young  husband  and 
his  mother  were  equally  wronged.  This  man, 
when  I  called  on  a  Sabbath  evening,  took  one 
of  the  lights  from  the  table  to  show  the  way 


down  the  five  flights  of  dark  tenement  stairs, 
and  to  my  protest, — knowing,  as  I  did,  that 
he  considered  it  a  sin  to  handle  fire  on  the 
Sabbath, — he  said:  "It  is  no  sin  for  me  to 
handle  a  light  on  the  Sabbath  to  show  respect 
to  a  friend  who  has  helped  to  keep  a  family 

There  was  the  story  of  Mary,  eldest  daughter, 
as  we  supposed,  of  an  orthodox  family.  When 
we  went  to  her  engagement  party  we  were  sur- 
prised to  see  that  the  young  man  was  not  of 
the  family  faith.  The  mother  told  us  that 
Mary,  "  such  a  pretty  baby/'  had  been  left  on 
their  doorstep  in  earlier  and  more  prosperous 
days  in  Austria.  The  Burgomeister  had  made 
proclamation,"  but  no  one  came  to  claim  her, 
and  the  husband  and  wife,  who  as  yet  had  no 
children  of  their  own,  decided  to  keep  her. 
'  God  rewarded  us  and  answered  our  prayers," 
said  Mrs.  L ,  for  many  children  came  after- 
ward; but  Mary,  blonde  and  blue-eyed,  was 
always  the  most  cherished,  the  first-comer  who 
had  brought  the  others.  When  she  was  quite 
a  young  girl  she  was  taken  ill — a  cold  follow- 
ing exposure  after  her  first  '  grown-up  '  party, 
for  which  her  foster-mother  had  dressed  her 
with  pride.  It  seemed  that  nothing  could  save 
her,  and  the  foster-mother  in  her  distress 
thought  with  pity  of  the  woman  who  had  borne 



this  sweet  child.  Surely  she  must  be  dead.  No 
living  mother  could  have  abandoned  so  lovely 
a  baby.  And  if  she  were  dead  and  in  the  Chris- 
tian heaven,  she  would  look  in  vain  there  for 

her  daughter.     "  So  I  called  the  priest  and  told 

him/'  said  Mrs.  L ,  "  and  he  made  a  prayer 

over  Mary,  and  said,  '  Now  she  is  a  Krist.'  The 
doctor,  we  called  him  too,  and  he  said  to  get 
a  goat,  for  the  milk  would  be  good  for  Mary; 
and  she  get  well,  but  no  so  strong,  as  you  see, 
and  that  is  why  she  don't  go  out  to  work  like 
her  brothers  and  sisters.  We  lose  our  money, 
that's  why  we  come  to  America,  and  Mary, 
now  she  marry  a  Krist" 


Gradually  there  came  to  our  knowledge  dif- 
ficulties and  conflicts  not  peculiar  to  any  one 
set  of  people,  but  intensified  in  the  case  of  our 
neighbors  by  poverty,  unfamiliarity  with  laws 
and  customs,  the  lack  of  privacy,  and  the  fre- 
quent dependence  of  the  elders  upon  the  chil- 
dren. Workers  in  philanthropy,  clergymen, 
orthodox  rabbis,  the  unemployed,  anxious  par- 
ents, girls  in  distress,  troublesome  boys,  came 
as  individuals  to  see  us,  but  no  formal  organiza- 
tion of  our  work  was  effected  till  we  moved 
into  the  house  on  Henry  Street,  in  1895. 

So  precious  were  the  intimate  relationships 
with  our  neighbors  in  the  tenement  that  we 
were  reluctant  to  leave  it.  My  companion's 
breakdown,  the  persuasion  of  friends  who  had 
given  their  support  and  counsel  that  there  was 
an  obligation  upon  us  to  effect  some  kind  of 
formal  organization  without  further  delay, 
finally  prevailed.  As  usual  the  neighborhood 
showed  its  interest  in  what  we  did;  and  though 
my  comrade  and  I  had  carefully  selected  men 
from  the  ranks  of  the  unemployed  to  move  our 
belongings,  when  all  was  accomplished  not  one 
of  them  could  be  induced  to  take  a  penny  for 
the  work. 

From  this  first  house  have  since  developed 
the  manifold  activities  in  city  and  country  now 
incorporated  as  the  Henry  Street  Settlement. 


I  should  like  to  make  it  clear  that  from  the 
beginning  we  were  most  profoundly  moved  by 
the  wretched  industrial  conditions  which  were 
constantly  forced  upon  us.  In  succeeding  chap- 
ters I  hope  to  tell  of  the  constructive  pro- 
grammes that  the  people  themselves  have 
evolved  out  of  their  own  hard  lives,  of  the  ame- 
liorative measures,  ripened  out  of  sympathetic 
comprehension,  and,  finally,  of  the  social  legis- 
lation that  expresses  the  new  compunction  of 
the  community. 


WHEN  I  first  entered  the  training-school  my 
outpourings  to  the  superintendent, — a  woman 
touched  with  a  genius  for  sympathy, — my 
youthful  heroics,  and  my  vow  to  "  nurse  the 
poor '  were  met  with  what  I  deemed  vague 
reference  to  the  "  Mission."  Afterwards  when 
I  sought  guidance  I  found  that  in  New  York 
the  visiting  (or  district)  nurse  was  accessible 
only  through  sectarian  organizations  or  the 
free  dispensary. 

As  our  plan  crystallized  my  friend  and  I 
were  certain  that  a  system  for  nursing  the  sick 
in  their  homes  could  not  be  firmly  established 
unless  certain  fundamental  social  facts  were 
recognized.  We  tried  to  imagine  how  loved 
ones  for  whom  we  might  be  solicitous  would 
react  were  they  in  the  place  of  the  patients 
whom  we  hoped  to  serve.  With  time,  expe- 
rience, and  the  stimulus  of  creative  minds  our 
technique  and  administrative  methods  have 
naturally  improved,  but  this  test  gave  us  vision 

to    establish    certain    principles,    whose    sound- 



ness  has  been  proved  during  the  growth  of  the 

We  perceived  that  it  was  undesirable  to  con- 
dition the  nurse's  service  upon  the  actual  or 
potential  connection  of  the  patient  with  a  re- 
ligious institution  or  free  dispensary,  or  to 
have  the  nurse  assigned  to  the  exclusive  use  of 
one  physician,  and  we  planned  to  create  a 
service  on  terms  most  considerate  of  the  dig- 
nity and  independence  of  the  patients.  We 
felt  that  the  nursing  of 
the  sick  in  their  homes 
should  be  undertaken 
seriously  and  ade- 
quately; that  instruc- 
tion should  be  inci- 
dental and  not  the  pri- 
mary consideration;  that  the  etiquette,  so  far 
as  doctor  and  patient  were  concerned,  should 
be  analogous  to  the  established  system  of  pri- 
vate nursing;  that  the  nurse  should  be  as 
ready  to  respond  to  calls  from  the  people  them- 
selves as  to  calls  from  physicians;  that  she 
should  accept  calls  from  all  physicians,  and  with 
no  more  red-tape  or  formality  than  if  she  were 
to  remain  with  one  patient  continuously. 

The  new  basis  of  the  visiting-nurse  service 
which  we  thus  inaugurated  reacted  almost  im- 
mediately upon  the  relationship  of  the  nurse 


to  the  patient,  reversing  the  position  the  nurse 
had  formerly  held.  Chagrin  at  having  the 
neighbors  see  in  her  an  agent  whose  presence 
proclaimed  the  family's  poverty  or  its  failure 
to  give  adequate  care  to  its  sick  member  was 
changed  to  the  gratifying  consciousness  that 
her  presence,  in  conjunction  with  that  of  the 
doctor,  "  private  '  or  "  Lodge,"  x  proclaimed 
the  family's  liberality  and  anxiety  to  do  every- 
thing possible  for  the  sufferer.  For  the  ex- 
posure of  poverty  is  a  great  humiliation  to 
people  who  are  trying  to  maintain  a  foothold  in 
society  for  themselves  and  their  families. 

My  colleague  and  I  realized  that  there  were 
large  numbers  of  people  who  could  not,  or 
would  not,  avail  themselves  of  the  hospitals.  It 
was  estimated  that  ninety  per  cent,  of  the  sick 
people  in  cities  were  sick  at  home, — an  esti- 
mate which  has  been  corroborated  (1913-14) 
by  the  investigation  of  the  Committee  of  In- 
quiry into  the  Departments  of  Health,  Char- 
ities, and  Bellevue  and  Allied  Hospitals  of 
New  York, — and  a  humanitarian  civilization 
demanded  that  something  of  the  nursing  care 
given  in  hospitals  should  be  accorded  to  sick 
people  in  their  homes. 

We  decided  that  fees  should  be  charged  when 

1  The  "Lodge "  doctor  is  the  physician  provided  by  a  mutual  benefit 
society  or  "  Lodge  "  to  attend  its  members.— THE  AUTHOR. 

Ninety  per  cent,  of  the  sick  of  the  city  remain  at  home 


people  could  pay.  It  was  interesting  to  dis- 
cover that,  although  nominal  in  amount  com- 
pared with  the  cost  of  the  service,  these  fees 
represented  a  much  larger  proportion  of  the 
wage  in  the  case  of  the  ordinary  worker  who 
paid  for  the  hourly  service  than  did  the  fee  paid 
by  a  man  with  a  salary  of 
$5,000,  who  engaged  the  full 
time  of  the  nurse.  Our  plan,  we 
reasoned,  was  analogous  to  the 
custom  of  "  private  '  hospitals, 
which  give  free  treatment  or 
charge  according  to  the  re- 
sources of  the  ward  patients. 
Both  private  hospitals  and  vis- 
iting nursing  are  thereby  lifted  out  of  "  char- 
ity '  as  comprehended  by  the  people. 

We  felt  that  for  economic  reasons  valuable 
and  expensive  hospital  space  should  be  saved 
for  those  for  whom  the  hospital  treatment  is 
necessary;  and  an  obvious  social  consideration 
was  that  many  people,  particularly  women, 
cannot  leave  their  homes  without  imperiling, 
or  sometimes  destroying,  the  home  itself. 

Almost  immediately  we  found  patients  who 
needed  care,  and  doctors  ready  to  accept  our 
services  with  probably  the  least  amount  of  fric- 


tion  possible  under  the  circumstances;  for  those 
doctors  who  had  not  been  internes  in  the  hos- 
pitals were  unfamiliar  with  the  trained  nurse, 
whose  work  was  little  known  at  that  time  out- 
side the  hospitals  and  the  homes  of  the  well- 

Despite  the  neighborhood's  friendliness,  how- 
ever, we  struggled,  not  only  with  poverty  and 
disease,  but  with  the  traditional  fate  of  the 
pioneer:  in  many  cases  we  encountered  the  in- 
evitable opposition  which  the  unusual  must 
arouse.  It  seems  almost  ungracious  to  relate 
some  of  our  first  experiences  with  doctors.  No 
one  can  give  greater  tribute  than  do  the  nurses 
of  the  settlement  to  the  generosity  of  physicians 
and  surgeons  when  we  recall  how  often  paying 
patients  were  set  aside  for  more  urgent  non- 
paying  ones;  the  counsel  freely  given  from  the 
highest  for  the  lowliest;  the  eager  readiness  to 
respond.  Occasionally  sage  advice  came  from 
a  veteran  who  knew  the  people  well  and 
lamented  the  economic  pressure  which  at  times 
involved,  to  their  spiritual  disaster,  doctors  as 
well  as  patients. 

The  first  day  on  which  we  set  out  to  discover 
the  sick  who  might  need  a  nurse,  my  comrade 
found  a  woman  with  high  temperature  in  an 
airless  room,  more  oppressive  because  of  the 
fetid  odor  from  the  bed.  Service  with  one  of 


New  York's  skilled  specialists  had  trained  the 
nurse  well  and  she  identified  the  symptoms  im- 
mediately. Yes,  there  was  a  Lodge  doctor. — 
He  had  left  a  prescription. — He  might  come 
again."  With  fine  diplomacy  an  excuse  was 

-m,     I. 

made  to  call  upon  the  doctor  and  to  assume 
that  he  would  accept  the  nurse's  aid.  My  col- 
league presented  her  credentials  and  offered  to 
accompany  him  to  the  case  immediately,  as  she 
was  '  sure  conditions  must  have  changed  since 
his  last  visit  or  he  would  doubtless  have 
ordered  '  so-and-so, — suggesting  the  treatment 
the  distinguished  specialists  were  then  using. 
He  promised  to  go,  and  the  nurse  waited  pa- 


tiently  for  hours  at  the  woman's  bedside. 
When  he  arrived  he  pooh-poohed  and  said, 
"  Nothing  doing."  We  had  ascertained  the 
financial  condition  of  the  family  from  the  evi- 
dence of  the  empty  push-cart  and  the  fact  that 
the  fish-peddler  was  not  in  the  market  with  his 
merchandise.  Five  dollars  was  loaned  that 
night  to  purchase  stock  next  day. 

My  comrade  and  I  decided  to  visit  the  patient 
early  the  next  morning,  to  mingle  judgments 
on  what  action  could  be  taken  in  this  serious 
illness  with  due  respect  to  established  etiquette. 
When  we  arrived,  the  Lodge  doctor  and  a  "  Pro- 
fessor '  (a  consultant)  were  in  the  sickroom, 
and  our  five  dollars,  left  for  fish,  was  in  their 
possession.  Cigarettes  in  mouths  and  hats  on 
heads,  they  were  questioning  husband  and 
wife,  and  only  Dickens  could  have  done  justice 
to  the  scene.  We  were  not  too  timid  to  allude 
to  the  poverty  and  the  source  of  the  fee,  and 
felt  free  when  we  were  told  to  "  go  ahead  and 
do  anything  you  like."  That  permission  we 
acted  upon  instantly  and  received,  over  the 
telephone,  authority  from  the  distinguished 
specialist  to  get  to  work.  We  were  prudent 
enough  to  report  the  authority  and  treatment 
given,  with  solemn  etiquette,  to  the  physician 
in  attendance,  who  in  turn  congratulated  us 
on  having  helped  him  to  save  a  life! 


Not  all  our  encounters  with  this  class  of 
practitioner  were  fruitful  of  benefit  to  their 
patients.  Heartbreaking  was  the  tragedy  of 
Samuel,  the  twenty-one-year-old  carpenter,  and 
Ida,  his  bride.  They  had  been  boy  and  girl 
sweethearts  in  Poland,  and  the  coming  to 
America,  the  preparation  of  the  clean  two- 
roomed  home,  the  expectation  of  the  baby, 
made  a  pretty  story  which  should  have  had 
happy  succeeding  chapters,  the  start  was  so 
good.  Samuel  knocked  at  our  door,  incoherent 
in  his  fright,  but  we  were  fast  accustoming  our- 
selves to  recognize  danger-signals,  and  I  at 
once  followed  him  to  the  top  floor  of  his  tene- 

Plain  to  see,  Ida  was  dying.  The  midwife 
said  she  had  done  all  she  could,  but  she  was 
obviously  frightened.  "  No  one  could  have 
done  any  better,"  she  insisted,  "  not  any  doc- 
tor"; but  she  had  called  one  and  he  had  left 
the  woman  lacerated  and  agonizing  because 
the  expected  fee  had  been  paid  only  in  part. 
It  was  Samuel's  last  dollar.  The  septic  woman 
could  only  be  sent  to  the  city  hospital.  The 
ambulance  surgeon  was  persuaded  to  let  the 
boy  husband  ride  with  her,  and  he  remained  at 
the  hospital  until  she  and  the  baby  died  a 
few  hours  later. 

Here   mv  comrade  and  I  came   aeainst  the 


stone  wall  of  professional  etiquette.  It  seemed 
as  if  public  sentiment  ought  to  be  directed  by 
the  doctors  themselves  against  such  practices, 
but  although  I  finally  called  upon  one  of  the 
high-minded  and  distinguished  men  who  had 
signed  the  diploma  of  the  offending  doctor,  I 
could  not  get  reproof  administered,  and  my 
ardor  for  arousing  public  indignation  in  the 
profession  was  chilled.  Later,  when  I  heard 
protests  from  employers  against  insistence  by 
labor  organizations  on  the  closed  shop,  it  oc- 
curred to  me  that  they  failed  to  recognize  an- 
alogies in  the  professional  etiquette  which 
conventional  society  has  long  accepted. 

However,  many  friendly  strong  bonds  were 
made  and  have  been  sustained  with  a  large 
majority  of  the  doctors  during  all  the  years 
of  our  service.  We  have  mutual  ties  of  per- 
sonal and  community  interests,  and  work  to- 
gether as  comrades;  the  practitioners  with  high 
standards  for  themselves  and  ideals  for  their 
sacred  profession  comprehend  our  common 
cause  and  strengthen  our  hands.  It  is  rare 
now,  although  at  first  it  was  very  frequent, 
that  the  physician  who  has  called  in  the  nurse 
for  his  patient  demands  her  withdrawal  when 
he  himself  has  been  dismissed.  He  has  come 
to  see  that  although  the  nurse  exerts  her  influ- 
ence to  preserve  his  prestige,  for  the  patient's 


sake  as  well  as  his  own,  nevertheless,  emotional 
people,  unaccustomed  to  the  settled  relation  of 
the  family  doctor,  may  and  often  do  change 
physicians  from  six  to  ten  times  in  the  course 
of  one  illness.  The  nurse,  however,  may  re- 
main at  the  bedside  throughout  all  vicissitudes. 
The  most  definite  protest  against  the  newer 
relationship  came  from  a  woman  active  in  many 
public  movements,  who  was  a  stickler  for  the 
orthodox  method  of  procuring  a  visiting  nurse 
only  through  the  doctor.  To  illustrate  the  im- 
portance of  freedom  for  the  patients,  I  cited 

the  case  of  the  L family.     A  neighbor  had 

called  for  aid.  "  Some  kind  of  an  awful  catch- 
ing sickness  on  the  same  floor  I  live  on,  to  the 
right,  front,"  she  whispered.  A  worn  and  hag- 
gard woman  was  lifting  a  heavy  boiler  filled 
with  'wash'  from  the  stove  when  I  entered; 
on  the  floor  in  the  other  room  three  little  chil- 
dren lay  ill  with  typhoid  fever,  one  of  them 
with  meningitis.  The  feather  pillows,  most 
precious  possession,  had  been  pawned  to  pay 
the  doctor.  The  father  dared  not  leave  the 
shop,  for  money  was  needed,  and  all  that  he 
earned  was  far  from  enough.  The  mother, 
when  questioned  as  to  the  delay  in  sending  for 
nursing  help,  said  that  the  doctor  had  fright- 
ened her  from  doing  so  by  telling  her  that,  if 
a  nurse  came,  the  children  would  surely  be 


sent  to  the  hospital.  No  disinfectant  was  found 
in  the  house,  and  the  mother  declared  that  no 
instructions  had  been  given  her. 

The  nurse  who  took  possession  of  the  sick- 
room refrained  from  mentioning  the  hospital; 
but  when  the  mother  saw  the  skilled  ministra- 
tion, and  the  tired  father,  on  his  return  from 
work,  watched  the  deft  feeding  of  the  uncon- 
scious child,  they  awoke  to  their  limitations. 
The  poor,  unskilled  woman,  bent  with  fatigue, 
then  exclaimed,  "  O  God,  is  that  what  I  should 
have  been  doing  for  my  babies?'  When  the 
nurse  was  about  to  leave  them  for  the  night 
the  parents  clung  to  her  and  asked  her  if  a  hos- 
pital would  do  as  much  as  she  had  done. 
"  More,  much  more,  I  hope,"  she  said.  "  I 
cannot  give  here  what  the  little  ones  need." 
Late  at  night  three  carriages  started  for  the 
children's  ward  of  the  hospital;  the  father,  the 
mother,  the  nurse,  each  with  a  patient  across 
the  seat  of  the  carriage. 

Said  the  critic  when  I  had  finished  my  story: 
"  I  think  the  nurse  should  have  asked  permis- 
sion of  their  doctor  before  she  granted  the  re- 
quest of  the  parents." 

All  the  social  agencies  combined  have  not 
been  able  to  dislodge  permanently  the  quack 
who  preys  upon  ignorance  and  superstition. 
One  day  a  teacher  in  a  nearby  school  asked  us 


to  visit  a  pupil  who  was  highly  excited  and  un- 
controllable. The  mother,  when  questioned, 
confessed  that  she  had  employed  the  "  witch 
doctor '  to  exorcise  the  devil,  who,  he  said,  had 
taken  possession  of  the  girl.  In  our  efforts  to 
free  the  girl  from  this  man's  control  I  invoked 
the  aid  of  the  parish  priest,  suggesting  that 
his  powers  were  being  usurped.  The  County 
Medical  Society  finally  secured  conviction  of 
the  "  doctor  '  on  the  charge  of  practicing  with- 
out a  license. 

In  the  Italian  quarter  this  species  still  preys 
upon  the  superstitious  fears  of  some  of  the  peo- 
ple, and  the  secrecy  involved  in  his  "  treatment ' 
makes  permanent  riddance  extremely  difficult. 
The  people  on  the  whole,  however,  give  remark- 
able response  to  the  "  American '  custom  of 
employing  a  regular  practitioner  and  the  vis- 
iting nurse. 

In  this  country,  unfortunately,  we  have  little 
data  on  morbidity.  Statisticians  desirous  of 
obtaining  figures  for  study  have  found  inter- 
esting material  in  our  files,  and  it  has  been  pos- 
sible to  make  comparison  of  the  results  of 
hospital  and  home  treatment.  Those  who 
are  familiar  with  the  discussion  upon  papers 
presented  by  children's  specialists  in  recent 


conferences  on  the  saving  of  child  life  have 
had  their  attention  drawn  to  the  disadvantage 
of  institutional  treatment.  Discussion  of  this 
subject  is  recent,  and  the  laity  do  not  always 
know  that  certain  complications  incident  to  the 
hospital  care  of  children  are  obviated  by  keep- 
ing them  at  home.  Among  these  are  cross- 
infections,  while  the  high  mortality  among  in- 
fants in  hospitals  has  long  been  recognized  and 
deplored  as  unavoidable. 

We  soon  found  that  children's  diseases,  par- 
ticularly those  of  brief  duration,  lent  them- 
selves most  advantageously  to  home  treatment. 
Our  records  show  that  in  1914  the  Henry 
Street  staff  cared  for  3,535  cases  of  pneumonia 
of  all  ages,  with  a  mortality  rate  of  8.05  per 
cent.  For  purposes  of  comparison  four  large 
New  York  hospitals  gave  us  their  records  of 
pneumonia  during  the  same  period.  Their  com- 
bined figures  totaled  1,612,  with  a  mortality 
rate  of  31.2  per  cent.  Among  children  under 
two — the  age  most  susceptible  to  unfortunate 
termination  of  this  disorder — the  mortality  rate 
from  pneumonia  in  one  hospital  was  51  per 
cent.,  and  the  average  of  the  four  was  38  per 
cent.,  while  among  those  of  a  corresponding 
age  cared  for  by  our  nurses  it  was  9.3  per  cent. 

Doctors  and  nurses  highly  trained  in  hos- 
pital routine  are  apt  to  be  hospital  propagan- 


dists  until  they  learn  by  experience  that  there 
is  justification  for  the  resistance,  on  the  part  of 
mothers,  to  the  removal  of  their  children  to  in- 


3535  CASES. 

tmr>r*  HOSPITAL  CARE. 

1612  CASES. 



stitutions,  and  that  even  in  homes  which,  at 
first  glance,  it  seems  impossible  to  organize  in 
accordance  with  sickroom  standards,  the  little 
patients'  chances  for  recovery  are  better  than 
when  sent  away.  Diseases  requiring  climatic 


or  operative  treatment,   or  peculiar  apparatus, 
must  usually  be  excluded  from  home  care. 

In  a  letter  written  to  a  friend  more  than 
twenty  years  ago  I  find  this  account  of  one  of 
our  patients: 

{ Peter  had  pneumonia,  complicated  with 
whooping-cough.  He  is  a  beautiful  yellow- 
haired  boy,  and  even  if  the  hospital  could  have 
admitted  him,  or  his  mother  would  have  agreed 
to  his  removal  (which  she  wouldn't),  I  should 
not  have  liked  to  send  him.  The  sense  of  re- 
sponsibility for  the  sick  child  seemed  a  force 
that  could  not  be  spared  for  rousing  an  erring 
father.  He  is,  apparently,  devoted  to  the  child, 
but  had  been  drinking,  and  there  was  not  a 
dollar  in  the  house.  The  child,  desperately  ill, 
clung  to  him,  calling  upon  him  with  endearing 
names.  During  the  illness  he  worked  all  day 
(he  is  a  driver)  and  sat  up  all  night,  and  I 
think  he  will  never  forget  his  shame  and  re- 
morse. The  doctor  had  ordered  bath  treat- 
ments every  two  hours.  These  I  gave  until 
eight  o'clock  and  the  mother  continued  them 
after  my  last  visit,  but  when  the  temperature 
was  highest  she  was  worn  out,  and  active  night- 
nursing  seemed  imperative.  This  Miss  S 

willingly    undertook — a    service    more    difficult 
than  appears  in  the  mere  telling,  for  the  ver- 


min  in  these  old  houses  are  horribly  active  at 
night,  and  this  sweet  girl  ended  her  first  vigil 
with  neck  and  face  inflamed  from  bites.  Yet 

Convalescent  Home — "The  Rest." 

the  people  themselves  were  clean,  and  in  this 
were  not  blameworthy.  There  is  nothing 
harder  to  endure  than  to  watch  by  a  night  sick- 
bed in  these  old,  worn  houses  and  see  the 
crawling  creatures  and  the  babes  so  accustomed 
to  them  that  their  sleep  is  scarcely  disturbed. 
Peter  has  had  a  beautiful  recovery,  rewarding 
his  nurses  by  a  most  satisfactory  return  to  a 
normal  state  of  good  health." 

The  staff,  which  in  the  beginning  consisted 
of  two  nurses,  my  friend  and  myself,  has  been 
increased  until  it  is  now  large  enough  to  answer 


calls  from  the  sick  anywhere  in  the  boroughs 
of  Manhattan  and  the  Bronx,  and  the  calls  in 
the  year  1913-14  came  from  nearly  1,100  more 
patients  than  the  combined  total  of  those 
treated  during  the  same  period  in  three  of  the 
large  hospitals  in  New  York — a  comparison 
valuable  chiefly  as  measuring  the  growing  de- 
mand of  the  sick  for  the  visiting  nurse. 

The  service,  though  covering  so  wide  a  terri- 
tory, is  capable  of  control  and  supervision.  The 
division  into  districts,  with  separate  staffs  for 
contagious  and  obstetrical  cases,  may  be  com- 
pared to  the  hospital  division  into  wards. 
Like  the  hospital,  it  has  a  system  of  bedside 
notes,  case  records,  and  an  established  eti- 
quette between  physicians,  nurses,  and  pa- 
tients. Those  that  can  best  be  cared  for  in  the 
hospitals  are  sent  there,  the  sifting  process 
being  accomplished  by  the  doctors  and  nurses 
working  together.  Approximately  ten  per 
cent,  of  our  patients  are  sent  to  the  hospitals. 

Serious  nurses  are  gratified  that  the  former 
casual  and  almost  sentimental  attitude  of  the 
public  toward  them  and  their  work  has  been 
replaced  by  a  demand  for  standards  of  effi- 

Enthusiasm,  health,  and  uncommon  good 
sense  on  the  part  of  the  nurse  are  essential, 
for  without  the  vision  of  the  importance  of 


their  task  they  could  not  long  endure  the  end- 
less stair-climbing,  the  weight  of  the  bag,  and 
the  pulls  upon  their  emotions. 

There  has  been  an  extraordinary  develop- 
ment of  the  visiting-nurse  service  throughout 
the  country  since  we  began  our  rounds,  and 
the  practical  arguments  for  sustaining  such 
work  would  seem  irresistible.  It  requires 
imagination,  however,  to  visualize  the  steady, 
competent,  continuous  routine  so  quietly  per- 
formed, unseen  by  the  public,  and  its  financial 
support  is  the  more  precarious  because  there 
can  be  no  public  reminder  of  its  existence  by 
impressive  buildings  and  monuments  of  marble. 


THE  work  begun  from  the  top  floor  of  the 
tenement  comprised,  in  simple  forms,  those 
varied  lines  of  activity  which  have  since  been 
developed  into  the  many  highly  specialized 
branches  of  public  health  nursing  now  covering 
the  United  States  and  engaging  thousands  of 

In  trying  to  forestall  every  obstacle  to  the 
establishment  of  our  nursing  service  on  the 
East  Side,  it  seemed  desirable  to  have  some 
connection  with  civic  authority.  Through  a 
mutual  friend  I  met  the  President  of  the  Board 
of  Health  and,  I  fear  rather  presumptuously, 
asked  that  we  be  given  some  insignia.  De- 
sirous of  serving  his  friend  and  tolerant  of  my 
intense  earnestness,  he  sanctioned  our  wearing 
a  badge  which  had  engraved  on  its  circle,  Vis- 
iting Nurse.  Under  the  Auspices  of  the  Board 
of  Health." 

As  it  transpired,  we  did  not  find  it  necessary 

1  "  Visiting    Nursing   in    the   United    States,"   by   Y.    G.   Waters" 
(Charities  Publication  Committee). 



or  always  felicitous  to  utilize  this  privilege, 
but  our  connection  with  the  Board  of  Health 
was  not  a  perfunctory  or  merely  complimentary 
one.  We  found  from  the  beginning  an  inclina- 
tion on  the  part  of  the  officials  of  the  depart- 
ment to  treat  us  more  or  less  like  comrades. 
Every  night,  during  the  first  summer,  I  wrote 
to  the  physician  in 
charge,  reporting  the 
sick  babies  and  de- 
scribing the  unsani- 
tary conditions  Miss 
Brewster  and  I  found, 
and  we  received  many 
encouraging  remind- 
ers that  what  we  were 
doing  was  considered 

In  the  new  activity  for  the  promotion  of  pub- 
lic health  many  campaigns  have  been  waged 
to  popularize  the  study  of  social  diseases.  Edu- 
cation is  the  watchword,  and  where  emphasis 
is  laid  upon  the  preservation  of  health  rather 
than  upon  the  treatment  of  disease,  the  nurses 
constitute  an  important  factor.  Appreciation 
of  this  is  recorded  by  the  Commission  which 
drafted  the  new  health  law  for  New  York 
State  (1913).  "The  advent  of  trained  nurs- 
ing," says  its  report,  "  marks  not  only  a  new 


era  in  the  treatment  of  the  sick,  but  a  new  era 
in  public  health  administration/3  This  Com- 
mission also  created  the  position  of  Director 
of  the  Division  of  Public  Health  Nursing  in 
the  state  department  of  health. 

I  had  been  downtown  only  a  short  time  when 
I  met  Louis.  An  open  door  in  a  rear  tenement 
revealed  a  woman  standing  over  a  washtub,  a 
fretting  baby  on  her  left  arm,  while  with  her 
right  she  rubbed  at  the  butcher's  aprons  which 
she  washed  for  a  living. 

Louis,  she  explained,  was  ;  bad/5  He  did 
not  '  cure  his  head,"  and  what  would  become 
of  him,  for  they  would  not  take  him  into  the 
school  because  of  it?  Louis,  hanging  the  of- 
fending head,  said  he  had  been  to  the  dis- 
pensary a  good  many  times.  He  knew  it  was 
awful  for  a  twelve-year-old  boy  not  to  know 
how  to  read  the  names  of  the  streets  on  the 
lamp-posts,  but  '  every  time  I  go  to  school 
Teacher  tells  me  to  go  home." 

It  needed  only  intelligent  application  of  the 
dispensary  ointments  to  cure  the  affected  area, 
and  in  September  I  had  the  joy  of  securing  the 
boy's  admittance  to  school  for  the  first  time  in 
his  life.  The  next  day,  at  the  noon  recess,  he 
fairly  rushed  up  our  five  flights  of  stairs  in  the 


Jefferson  Street  tenement  to  spell  the  elemen- 
tary words  he  had  acquired  that  morning. 

It  had  been  hard  on  Louis  to  be  denied  the 
precious  years  of  school,  yet  one  could  sym- 
pathize with  the  harassed  school  teachers.  The 
classes  were  overcrowded;  there  were  fre- 
quently as  many  as  sixty  pupils  in  a  single 
room,  and  often  three  children  on  a  seat.  It 
was,  perhaps,  not  unnatural  that  the  eczema 
on  Louis's  head  should  have  been  seized  upon 
as  a  legitimate  excuse  for  not  adding  him  to 
the  number.  Perhaps  it  was  not  to  be  ex- 
pected that  the  teacher  should  feel  concern  for 
one  small  boy  whom  she  might  never  see 
again,  or  should  realize  that  his  brief  time  for 
education  was  slipping  away  and  that  he  must 
go  to  work  fatally  handicapped  because  of  his 

The  predecessor  of  our  present  superin- 
tendent of  schools  had  apparently  given  no 
thought  to  the  social  relationship  of  the  school 
to  the  pupils.  The  general  public,  twenty  years 
ago,  had  no  accurate  information  concerning 
the  schools,  and,  indeed,  seemed  to  have  little 
interest  in  them.  We  heard  of  flagrant  in- 
stances of  political  influence  in  the  selection 
and  promotion  of  teachers,  and  later  on  we 
had  actual  knowledge  of  their  humiliation  at 
being  forced  to  obtain  through  sordid  f  pull ' 


the  positions  to  which  they  had  a  legitimate 
claim.  I  had  myself  once  been  obliged  to  enter 
the  saloon  of  N ,  the  alderman  of  our  dis- 
trict, to  obtain  the  promise  of  necessary  and 
long-delayed  action  on  his  part  for  the  city's 
acceptance  of  the  gift  of  a  street  fountain, 
which  I  had  been  indirectly  instrumental  in 
securing  for  the  neighborhood.  I  had  been 
informed  by  his  friends  that  without  this  atten- 
tion he  would  not  be  likely  to  act. 

Louis  set  me  thinking  and  opened  my  mind 
to  many  things.  Miss  Brewster  and  I  decided 
to  keep  memoranda  of  the  children  we  encoun- 
tered who  had  been  excluded  from  school  for 
medical  reasons,  and  later  our  enlarged  staff 
of  nurses  became  equally  interested  in  obtain- 
ing data  regarding  them.  When  one  of  the 
nurses  found  a  small  boy  attending  school 
while  desquamating  from  scarlet  fever,  and, 
Tom  Sawyer-like,  pulling  off  the  skin  to  startle 
his  little  classmates,  we  exhibited  him  to  the 
President  of  the  Department  of  Health,  and  I 
then  learned  that  the  possibility  of  having 
physicians  inspect  the  school  children  was 
under  discussion,  and  that  such  evidence  of  its 
need  as  we  could  produce  would  be  helpful  in 
securing  an  appropriation  for  this  purpose. 

I  had  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  nurse 
would  be  an  essential  factor  in  making  effec- 


tive  whatever  treatment  might  be  suggested  for 
the  pupils,  and,  following  an  observation  of 
mine  to  this  effect,  the  president  asked  me  to 
take  part,  as  nurse,  in  the  medical  supervision 
in  the  schools.  This  offer  it  did  not  seem  wise 
to  accept.  We  were  embarking  upon  ventures 
of  our  own  which  would  require  all  our  facul- 

ties  and  all  our  strength.  It  seemed  better 
to  be  free  from  connections  which  would  make 
demand  upon  our  energies  for  routine  work 
outside  the  settlement.  Moreover,  the  time  did 
not  seem  ripe  for  advocating  the  introduction 
of  both  the  doctor  and  the  nurse.  The  doctor 
himself,  in  this  capacity,  was  an  innovation. 
The  appointment  of  a  nurse  would  have  been 
a  radical  departure. 

In  1897  tne  Department  of  Health  appointed 
the  first  doctors;  one  hundred  and  fifty  were 
assigned  to  the  schools  for  one  hour  a  day  at 


a  salary  of  $30  a  month.  They  were  expected 
to  examine  for  contagious  diseases  and  to  send 
out  of  the  classrooms  all  those  who  showed 
suspicious  symptoms.  It  proved  to  be  a  per- 
functory service  and  only  superficially  touched 
the  needs  of  the  children. 

In  1902,  when  a  reform  administration  came 
into  power,  the  medical  staff  was  reduced  and 
the  salary  increased  to  $100  a  month,  while 
three  hours  a  day  were  demanded  from  the 
doctors.  The  Health  Commissioner  of  that  ad- 
ministration, an  intelligent  friend  of  children, 
now  ordered  an  examination  of  all  the  public 
school  pupils,  and  New  York  was  horrified  to 
learn  of  the  prevalence  of  trachoma.  Thou- 
sands of  children  were  sent  out  of  the  schools 
because  of  this  infectious  eye  trouble,  and  in 
our  neighborhood  we  watched  many  of  them, 
after  school  hours,  playing  with  the  children 
for  whose  protection  they  had  been  excluded 
from  the  classrooms.  Few  received  treatment, 
and  it  followed  that  truancy  was  encouraged, 
and,  where  medical  inspection  was  most  thor- 
ough, the  classrooms  were  depleted. 

The  President  of  the  Department  of  Educa- 
tion and  the  Health  Commissioner  sought  for 
guidance  in  this  predicament.  Examination  by 
physicians  with  the  object  of  excluding  chil- 
dren from  the  classrooms  had  proved  a  doubt- 


ful  blessing.  The  time  had  come  when  it 
seemed  right  to  urge  the  addition  of  the  nurse's 
service  to  that  of  the  doctoi.  My  colleagues 
and  I  offered  to  show  that  with  her  assistance 
few  children  would  lose  their  valuable  school 
time  and  that  it  would  be  possible  to  bring 
under  treatment  those  who  needed  it.  Re- 
luctant lest  the  democracy  of  the  school  should 
be  invaded  by  even  the  most  socially  minded 
philanthropy,  I  exacted  a  promise  from  several 
of  the  city  officials  that  if  the  experiment  were 
successful  they  would  use  their  influence  to 
have  the  nurse,  like  the  doctor,  paid  from  public 

Four  schools  from  which  there  had  been 
the  greatest  number  of  exclusions  for  medical 
causes  were  selected,  and  an  experienced 
nurse,  who  possessed  tact  and  initiative,  was 
chosen  from  the  settlement  staff  to  make  the 
demonstration.  A  routine  was  devised,  and  the 
examining  physician  sent  daily  to  the  nurse  all 
the  pupils  who  were  found  to  be  in  need  of 
attention,  using  a  code  of  symbols  in  order  that 
the  children  might  be  spared  the  chagrin  of 
having  diseases  due  to  uncleanliness  advertised 
to  their  associates. 

With  the  equipment  of  the  settlement  bag 
and,  in  some  of  the  schools,  with  no  more  than 
the  ledge  of  a  window  or  the  corner  of  a  room 


for  the  nurse's  office,  the  present  system  of 
thorough  medical  inspection  in  the  schools  and 
of  home  visiting  was  inaugurated.  Many  of 
the  children  needed  only  disinfectant  treatment 
of  the  eyes,  collodion  applied  to  ringworm,  or 
instruction  as  to  cleanliness,  and  such  were  re- 
turned at  once  to  the  class  with  a  minimum 
loss  of  precious  school  time.  Where  more 
serious  conditions  existed  the  nurse  called  at 
the  home,  explained  to  the  mother  what  the 
doctor  advised,  and,  where  there  was  a  family 
physician,  urged  that  the  child  should  be  taken 
to  him.  In  the  families  of  the  poor  informa- 
tion as  to  dispensaries  was  given,  and  where 
the  mother  was  at  work,  and  there  was  no  one 
free  to  take  the  child  to  the  dispensary,  the  nurse 
herself  did  this.  Where  children  were  sent  to 
the  nurse  because  of  uncleanliness,  the  mother 
was  given  tactful  instruction  and,  when  neces- 
sary, a  practical  demonstration  on  the  child 

One  month's  trial  proved  that,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  the  very  small  proportion  of  major 
contagious  and  infectious  diseases,  the  addition 
of  the  nurse  to  the  staff  made  it  possible  to 
reverse  the  object  of  medical  inspection  from 
excluding  the  children  from  school  to  keeping 
the  children  in  the  classroom  and  under  treat- 
ment. An  enlightened  Board  of  Estimate  and 










Apportionment  voted  $30,000  for  the  employ- 
ment of  trained  nurses,  the  first  municipalized 
school  nurses  in  the  world,  now  a  feature  of 
medical  school  supervision  in  many  communi- 
ties in  this  country  and  in  Europe. 

The  first  nurse  was  placed  on  the  city  pay- 
roll in  October,  1902,  and  this  marked  the  be- 
ginning of  an  extraordinary  development  of  the 
public  control  of  the  physical  condition  of  chil- 
dren. Out  of  this  innovation  New  York  City's 
Bureau  of  Child  Hygiene  has  grown. 

The  Department  of  Health  now  employs  650 
nurses  for  its  hospital  and  preventive  work. 
Of  this  number  374,  in  the  year  1914,  were 
engaged  for  the  Bureau  of  Child  Hygiene. 

Poor  Louis,  who  all  unconsciously  had 
started  the  train  of  incidents  that  led  to  this 
practical  reform,  has  long  since  moved  from 
his  Hester  Street  home  to  Kansas,  and  was 
able  to  write  us,  as  he  did  with  enthusiasm, 
of  his  identification  with  the  West. 

Our  first  expenditures  were  for  "  sputum  cups 
and  disinfectants  for  tuberculosis  patients/' 
The  textbooks  had  said  that  Jews  were  prac- 
tically immune  from  this  disease,  and  here  we 
found  ourselves  in  a  dense  colony  of  the  race 
with  signs  everywhere  of  the  white  plague, 


which  we  soon  thought  it  fitting  to  name 
"  tailors'  disease/5 

Long  before  the  great  work  was  started  by 
the  municipality  to  combat  its  ravages  through 
education  and  home  visitation,  we  organized 
for  ourselves  a  system  of  care  and  instruction 
for  patients  and  their  families,  and  wrote  to  the 
institutions  that  were  known  to  care  for  tuber- 
culosis cases  for  the  addresses  of  discharged 
patients,  that  we  might  call  upon  them  to  leave 
the  cups  and  disinfectants  and  instruct  the  fam- 

Since  1904  the  anti-tuberculosis  movement 
has  been  greatly  accelerated,  and  although  it  is 
pre-eminently  a  disease  of  poverty  and  can 
never  be  successfully  combated  without  dealing 
with  its  underlying  economic  causes — bad 
housing,  bad  workshops,  undernourishment, 
and  so  on — the  most  immediate  attack  lies  in 
education  in  personal  hygiene.  For  this  the 
approach  to  the  families  through  the  nurse  and 
her  ability  to  apply  scientific  truth  to  the  prob- 
lems of  human  living  have  been  found  to  be 

Infant    mortality   is    also    a    social    disease — 

1  The  National  Association  for  the  Study  and  Prevention  of 
Tuberculosis  in  its  report  for  1915  states  that  the  tuberculosis  death 
rate  in  the  registration  area  of  the  United  States  has  declined  from 
167.7  in  1905  to  127.7  in  1913  per  100,000  population ;  a  net  saving  to 
this  country  of  over  200,000  lives  from  this  one  disease. 


f  poverty  and  ignorance,  the  twin  roots  from 
which  this  evil  springs."  There  is  a  large 
measure  of  preventable  ignorance,  and  in  the 
efforts  for  the  reduction  of  infant  mortality  the 
intelligent  reaction  of  the  tenement-house 
mother  has  been  re- 
markably evidenced. 
In  the  last  analysis 
babies  of  the  poor  are 
kept  alive  through 
the  intelligence  of  the 
mothers.  Pasteurized 
or  modified  milk  in 
immaculate  contain- 
ers is  of  limited  value 
if  exposed  to  pollu- 
tion in  the  home,  or  if  it  is  fed  improperly  and 
at  irregular  periods. 

The  need  of  giving  the  mother  training 
seemed  so  evident  that,  in  the  course  of  lessons 
given  on  the  East  Side  antedating  our  nursing 
service,  I  had  demonstrated  with  a  primitive 
sterilizer  a  simple  method  of  insuring  "  safe  ' 
milk  for  babies. 

The  settlement  established  a  milk  station  in 
1903,  when  one  of  its  directors  began  sending 
milk  of  high  grade  from  his  private  dairy.  Fol- 
lowing our  principle  of  building  up  the  homes 
wherever  possible,  the  modification  of  the  milk 


has  always  been  taught  there.  The  nurses  re- 
port that  it  is  very  rare  to  find  a  woman  who 
cannot  learn  the  lesson  when  made  to  under- 
stand its  importance  to  her  children. 

Children  under  two  years  who  show  the 
greatest  need  are  given  the  preference  in  ad- 
mission to  our  clinic. 
Excellent  physicians 
practicing  in  the 
neighborhood  have 
contributed  their  ser- 

vices as  consultants, 
and  conferences  are 
held  regularly.  In 
1914  the  number  of 
infants  cared  for  was 
518  and  the  mortality  1.8  per  cent.  The  pre- 
vious year,  with  400  infants,  the  mortality  was 
one-half  of  one  per  cent. 

The  Health  Commissioner  of  Rochester, 
N.  Y.,  a  pioneer  in  his  specialty,  founded  munic- 
ipal milk  stations  for  that  city  in  1897.  He 
states  that  the  reduction  of  infant  mortality 
that  followed  the  establishment  of  the  stations 
was  due,  not  so  much  to  the  milk,  but  to  the 
education  that  went  out  with  the  milk  through 
the  nurse  and  in  the  press. 

In  1911  New  York  City  authorized  the  mu- 
nicipalization  of  fifteen  milk  stations,  and  so 


satisfactory  was  the  result  that  the  next  year 
the  appropriation  permitted  more  than  the 
trebling  of  this  number.  A  nurse  is  attached 
to  each  station  to  follow  into  the  homes  and 
there  lay  the  foundation,  through  education, 
for  hygienic  living.  A  marked  reduction  in 
infant  mortality  has  been  brought  about  and, 
moreover,  a  realization,  on  the  part  of  the  city, 
of  the  immeasurable  social  and  economic  value 
of  keeping  the  babies  alive. 

The  Federal  Children's  Bureau  in  its  first 
report  on  the  study  of  infant  mortality  in  the 
United  States  showed  that,  in  the  city  selected 
for  investigation,  the  infant  death  rate,  in  those 
sections  where  conditions  were  worst,  was  more 
than  five  times  that  in  the  choice  residential 

This  report  constitutes  a  serious  indictment 
of  society,  and  should  goad  civic  and  social 
conscience  to  aggressive  action.  But  there  are 
evidences  (and,  indeed,  the  existence  of  the 
Bureau  is  one)  that  the  public  is  beginning  to 
realize  the  profound  importance  in  our  national 
life  of  saving  the  children  that  are  born. 

Perhaps  nothing  indicates  more  impressively 
our  contempt  for  alien  customs  than  the  gen- 
eral attitude  taken  toward  the  midwife.  In 


other  lands  she  holds  a  place  of  respect,  but  in 
this  country  there  seems  to  be  a  general  de- 
termination on  the  part  of  physicians  and  de- 
partments of  health  to  ignore  her  existence 
and  leave  her  free  to  practice  without  fit  prepa- 
ration, despite  the  fact  that  her  services  are 
extensively  used  in  humble  homes.  In  New 
York  City  the  midwife  brings  into  the  world 
over  forty  per  cent,  of  all  the  babies  born  there, 
and  ninety-eight  per  cent,  of  those  among  the 

We  had  many  experiences  with  them,  begin- 
ning with  poor  Ida,  the  carpenter's  wife,  and 
some  that  had  the  salt  of  humor.  Before  our 
first  year  had  passed  I  wrote  to  the  superin- 
tendent of  a  large  relief  society  operating  in 
our  neighborhood,  advising  that  the  society 
discontinue  its  employment  of  midwives  as  a 
branch  of  relief,  because  of  their  entire  lack 
of  standards  and  their  exemption  from  restrain- 
ing influence. 

To  force  attention  to  the  harmful  effect  of 
leaving  the  midwife  without  training  in 
midwifery  and  asepsis  free  to  attend  wo- 
men in  childbirth,  the  Union  Settlement 
in  1905  financed  an  investigation  under  the 
auspices  of  a  committee  of  which  I  was  chair- 

A  trained  nurse  was  selected  to  inquire  into 


and  report  upon  the  practice  of  the  midwives. 
The  inquiry  disclosed  the  extent  to  which  habit, 
tradition,  and  economic  necessity  made  the 
midwife  practically  indispensable,  and  gave 
ample  proof  of  the  neglect,  ignorance,  and 
criminality  that  prevailed;  logical  consequences 
the  policy  that  had  been  pursued.  The 

Commissioner  of  Health  and  eminent  obstet- 
ricians now  co-operated  to  improve  matters,  and 
legislation  was  secured  making  it  mandatory 
for  the  Department  of  Health  to  regulate  the 
practice  of  midwifery.  Five  years  later  the 
first  school  for  midwives  in  America  was  es- 
tablished in  connection  with  Bellevue  Hos- 

Part  of  the  duty  assigned  to  nurses  of  the 
Bureau  of  Child  Hygiene  is  to  inspect  the  bags 


of  the  midwives  licensed  to  practice,  and  to 
visit  the  new-born  in  the  campaign  to  wipe  out 
ophthalmia  neonatorum,  that  tragically  fre- 
quent and  preventable  cause  of  blindness  among 
the  new-born. 

These  are  a  few  of  the  manifestations  of 
the  new  era  in  the  development  of  the  nurse's 
work.  She  is  enlisted  in  the  crusade  against 
disease  and  for  the  promotion  of  right  living, 
beginning  even  before  life  itself  is  brought 
forth,  through  infancy  into  school  life,  on 
through  adolescence,  with  its  appeal  to  repair 
the  omissions  of  the  past.  Her  duties  take  her 
into  factory  and  workshop,  and  she  has  identi- 
fied herself  with  the  movement  against  the 
premature  employment  of  children,  and  for  the 
protection  of  men  and  women  who  work  that 
they  may  not  risk  health  and  life  itself  while 
earning  their  living.  The  nurse  is  being  social- 
ized, made  part  of  a  community  plan  for  the 
communal  health.  Her  contribution  to  human 
welfare,  unified  and  harmonized  with  those 
powers  which  aim  at  care  and  prevention,  rather 
than  at  police  power  and  punishment,  forms 
part  of  the  great  policy  of  bringing  human 
beings  to  a  higher  level. 

With  the  incorporation  of  the  nurse's  service 
in  municipal  and  state  departments  for  the 
preservation  of  health,  other  agencies,  under 


private  and  semi-public  auspices,  have  ex- 
panded their  functions  to  the  sick. 

I  had  felt  that  the  American  Red  Cross  So- 
ciety held  a  unique  position  among  its  sister 
societies  of  other  nations,  and  that  in  time  it 
might  be  an  agency  that  could  consciously  pro- 
vide valuable  "  moral  equivalents  for  war."  The 
whole  subject,  in  these  troubled  times,  is  re- 
vived in  my  memory,  and  I  find  that  in  1908 
I  began  to  urge  that  in  a  country  dedicated  to 
peace  it  would  be  fitting  for  the  American  Red 
Cross  to  consecrate  its  efforts  to  the  upbuild- 
ing of  life  and  the  prevention  of  disaster,  rather 
than  to  emphasize  its  identification  with  the 
ravages  of  war. 

The  concrete  recommendation  made  was  that 
the  Red  Cross  should  develop  a  system  of  vis- 
iting nursing  in  the  vast,  neglected  country 
areas.  The  suggestion  has  been  adopted  and 
an  excellent  beginning  made  with  a  Depart- 
ment of  Town  and  Country  Nursing  directed 
by  a  special  committee.  A  generous  gift 
started  an  endowment  for  its  administration. 
Many  communities  not  in  the  registered  area 
and  remote  from  the  centers  of  active  social 
propaganda  will  be  given  stimulus  to  organize 
for  nursing  service,  and  from  this  other  medical 
and  social  measures  will  inevitably  grow.  It 
requires  no  far  reach  of  the  imagination  to  vis- 


ualize  the  time  when  our  country  will  be  dis- 
tricted from  the  northernmost  to  the  southern- 
most point,  with  the  trained  graduate  nurse  en- 
tering the  home  wherever  there  is  illness,  car- 
ing for  the  patient,  preaching  the  gospel  of 
health,  and  teaching  in  simplest  form  the  essen- 
tials of  hygiene.  Such  an  organization  of  na- 
tional scope,  its  powers  directed  toward  raising 
the  standard  in  the  homes  without  sacrifice  of 
independence,  is  bound  to  promote  the  social 
progress  of  the  nation. 

In  the  year  1909  the  Metropolitan  Life  In- 
surance Company  undertook  the  nursing  of  its 
industrial  policyholders — an  important  event  in 
the  annals  of  visiting  nursing.  I  had  suggested 
the  practicality  of  this  to  one  of  the  officials 
of  the  company,  a  man  of  broad  experience, 
and  he,  immediately  responsive,  provided  op- 
portunity for  me  to  present  to  his  colleagues 
evidence  of  the  reduction  of  mortality,  the 
hastening  of  convalescence,  and  the  ability  to 
bring  to  sick  people  the  resources  that  the  com- 
munity provides  for  treatment  through  the  in- 
stitution of  visiting  nursing. 

The  company  employed  our  staff  to  care  for 
its  patients,  and  the  experiment  has  been  ex- 
tended until  a  nursing  service  practically  covers 


its  industrial  policyholders  in  Canada  and  the 
United  States.  The  company  thereby  gave  an 
enormous  impetus  to  education  and  hygiene  in 
the  homes  and  treatment  of  the  sick  on  the 
only  basis  that  makes  it  possible  for  persons 
of  small  means  to  receive  nursing  without 
charity — namely,  through  insurance. 

The  demand  for  the  public 
health  nurse  coming  from  all 
sides  was  so  great  that  for  a 
time  it  could  not  be  ade- 
quately met.  Women  of  in- 
itiative and  personality  with 
broad  education  were  needed, 
for  much  of  the  work  required 
pioneering  zeal.  Instructive 
inspection,  on  the  nurse's  part, 
like  other  educational  work, 
requires  suitable  and  sound 
preparation,  a  superstructure  of  efficiency  upon 
woman's  natural  aptitudes. 

The  Henry  Street  Settlement  and  other 
groups  with  well-established  visiting  nursing 
systems  responded  to  the  need  by  offering  op- 
portunities for  post-graduate  training  and  ex- 
perience in  the  newly  opened  field  of  public 
health  nursing,  and  sought  co-ordination  with 
formal  educational  institutions  for  instruction 
in  social  theories  and  pedagogy.  In  1910  the 


Department  of  Nursing  and  Health  was  created 
at  Teachers  College,  Columbia  University,  em- 
bracing in  its  completed  form  the  Department 
of  Hospital  Economics  established  there  in 
1899  by  the  efforts  of  training-school  superin- 
tendents. This  department  is  in  affiliation  with 
the  settlement.  At  least  four  important  train- 
ing-schools for  nurses  are  now  working  under 
the  direction  of  universities,  and  other  provi- 
sion has  been  made  to  give  education  supple- 
mentary to  the  hospital  training. 

Nurses  themselves  have  taken  the  initiative 
in  securing  the  means  for  equipping  women  in 
their  profession  to  meet  the  new  requirements. 
They  are  providing  helpful  literature  and  rind- 
ing stimulating  associations  with  others  en- 
listed in  similar  efforts  for  human  welfare.  I 
had  the  honor  to  be  elected  first  president  of 
the  National  Organization  for  Public  Health 
Nursing.  At  the  conference  held  in  1913  (less 
than  a  year  after  the  formation  of  the  society) 
an  assemblage  of  women  gathered  from  all 
parts  of  the  country  to  seek  guidance  and  in- 
spiration for  this  work,  and  something  that  was 
very  like  religious  fervor  characterized  their 

The  need  of  consecration  to  the  sick  and  the 
young  that  has  touched  generation  after  gen- 
eration with  new  impulse  was  manifested  in 


their  eagerness  to  serve  the  community.  From 
the  root  of  the  old  gospel  another  branch  has 
grown,  a  realization  that  the  call  to  the  nurse 
is  not  only  for  the  bedside  care  of  the  sick, 
but  to  help  in  seeking  out  the  deep-lying  basic 
causes  of  illness  and  misery,  that  in  the  future 
there  may  be  less  sickness  to  nurse  and  to  cure. 
A  pleasant  indication  that  the  academic 
world  reached  out  its  fellowship  to  the  nurses 
in  their  zeal  for  public  service  was  given  some 
months  later  when  Mt.  Holyoke  College,  at 
the  commemoration  of  its  seventy-fifth  anni- 
versary, honored  me  by  conferring  on  me  the 
LL.D.  degree. 


THE  visitor  who  sees  our  neighborhood  for  the 
first  time  at  the  hour  when  school  is  dismissed 
reacts  with  joy  or  dismay  to  the  sight,  not 
paralleled  in  any  part  of  the  world,  of  thou- 
sands of  little  ones  on  a  single  city  block. 

Out  they  pour,  the  little  hyphenated  Ameri- 
cans, more  conscious  of  their  patriotism  than 
perhaps  any  other  large  group  of  children  that 
could  be  found  in  our  land;  unaware  that  to 
some  of  us  they  carry  on  their  shoulders  our 
hopes  of  a  finer,  more  democratic  America, 
when  the  worthy  things  they  bring  to  us  shall 
be  recognized,  and  the  good  in  their  old-world 
traditions  and  culture  shall  be  mingled  with 
the  best  that  lies  within  our  new-world 
ideals.  Only  through  knowledge  is  one  forti- 
fied to  resist  the  onslaught  of  arguments  of  the 
superficial  observer  who,  dismayed  by  the 
sight,  is  conscious  only  of  "  hordes  '  and  "  dan- 
ger to  America '  in  these  little  children. 

They  are  irresistible.  They  open  up  wide 
vistas  of  the  many  lands  from  which  they 




come.  The  multitude  passes:  swinging  walk, 
lagging  step;  smiling,  serious— just  little  chil- 
dren, forever  appealing,  and  these,  perhaps, 


more  than  others,  stir  the  emotions.  '  Crime, 
ignorance,  dirt,  anarchy!'  Not  theirs  the 
fault  if  any  of  these  be  true,  although  some- 
times perfectly  good  children  are  spoiled,  as 
Jacob  Riis,  that  buoyant  lover  of  them,  has 
said.  As  a  nation  we  must  rise  or  fall  as  we 
serve  or  fail  these  future  citizens. 


Their  appeal  suggests  that  social  exclusions 
and  prejudices  separate  far  more  effectively 
than  distance  and  differing  language.  They 
bring  a  hope  that  a  better  relationship — even 
the  great  brotherhood — is  not  impossible,  and 

that  through  love  and  understanding  we  shall 
come  to  know  the  shame  of  prejudice. 

Instinctively  the  sympathetic  observer  feels 
the  possibilities  of  the  young  life  that  passes 
before  the  settlement  doors,  and  sincerity  de- 
mands that  something  shall  be  known  of  the 
conditions,  economic,  political,  religious,  or,  per- 
chance, of  the  mere  spirit  of  venture  that 
brought  them  her^-  How  often  have  the  con- 
ventionally educated  been  driven  to  the  library 
to  obtain  that  historic  perspective  of  the  people 



who  are  in  our  midst,  without  which  they  can- 
not be  understood!  What  fascinating  excur- 
sions have  been  made  into  folklore  in  the  effort 
to  comprehend  some  strange  custom  unexpect- 
edly encountered! 

When  the  anxious  friends  of  the  dying  Ital- 
ian brought  a  chicken  to  be  killed  over  him, 
the  tenement-house  bed  became  the  sacrificial 
altar  of  long  ago;  and  when  the  old,  rabbinical- 
looking  grandfather  took 
hairs  from  the  head  of 
the  sick  child,  a  bit  of 
his  finger-nail,  and  a 
garment  that  had  been 
close  to  his  body,  and 
cast  them  into  the 
river  while  he  devoutly 
prayed  that  the  little 
life  might  be  spared,  he  declared  his  faith  in 
the  purification  of  running  water. 

It  is  necessary  to  spend  a  summer  in  our 
neighborhood  to  realize  fully  the  conditions 
under  which  many  thousands  of  children  are 
reared.  One  night  during  my  first  month  on 
the  East  Side,  sleepless  because  of  the  heat,  I 
leaned  out  of  the  window  and  looked  down  on 
Rivington  Street.  Life  was  in  full  course  there. 
Some  of  the  push-cart  venders  still  sold  their 
wares.  Sitting  on  the  curb  directly  under  my 


window,  with  her  feet  in  the  gutter,  was  a 
woman,  drooping  from  exhaustion,  a  baby  at 
her  breast.  The  fire-escapes,  considered  the 
most  desirable  sleeping-places,  were  crowded 
with  the  youngest  and  the  oldest;  children 
were  asleep  on  the  sidewalks,  on  the  steps  of 

the  houses  and  in  the  empty  push-carts;  some 
of  the  more  venturesome  men  and  women  with 
mattress  or  pillow  staggered  toward  the  river- 
front or  the  parks.  I  looked  at  my  watch.  It 
was  two  o'clock  in  the  morning! 

Many  times  since  that  summer  of  1893  have 
I  seen  similar  sights,  and  always  I  have  been 
impressed  with  the  kindness  and  patience,  some- 
times the  fortitude,  of  our  neighbors,  and  I 


have  marveled  that  out  of  conditions  distress- 
ing and  nerve-destroying  as  these  so  many 
children  have  emerged  into  fine  manhood  and 
womanhood,  and  often,  because  of  their  early 
experiences,  have  become  intelligent  factors  in 
promoting  measures  to  guard  the  next  genera- 
tion against  conditions  which  they  know  to  be 

Before  I  lived  in  the  midst  of  this  dense  child 
population,  and  while  I  was  still  in  the  hospital, 
I  had  been  touched  by  glimpses  of  the  life  re- 
vealed in  the  games  played  in  the  children's 
ward.  Up  to  that  time  my  knowledge  of  little 
ones  had  been  limited  to  those  to  whom  the 
people  in  fairy  tales  were  real,  and  whose  games 
and  stories  reflected  the  protective  care  of  their 
elders.  My  own  earliest  recollections  of  play 
had  been  of  story-telling,  of  housekeeping  with 
all  the  things  in  miniature  that  grown-ups  use, 
and  of  awed  admiration  of  the  big  brother  who 
graciously  permitted  us  to  witness  hair-raising 
performances  in  the  barn,  to  which  we  paid  ad- 
mittance in  pins.  The  children  in  the  hospital 
ward  who  were  able  to  be  about,  usually  on 
crutches  or  with  arms  in  slings,  played  '  Ambu- 
lance '  and  the  "  Gerry  Society."  The  latter 
game  dramatized  their  conception  of  the  famous 
Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to  Chil- 
dren as  an  ogre  that  would  catch  them.  The 


ambulance  game  was  of  a  child,  or  a  man  at 
work,  injured  and  carried  away  to  the  hospital. 

Many  years'  familiarity  with  the  children's 
attempts  to  play  in  the  streets  has  not  made 
me  indifferent  to  its  pathos,  which  is  not  the 
less  real  because  the  children  themselves  are 
unconscious  of  it.  In  the  midst  of  the  push- 
cart market,  with  its  noise,  confusion,  and  jost- 
ling, the  checker  or  crokinole  board  is  precari- 
ously perched  on  the  top  of  a  hydrant,  con- 
stantly knocked  over  by  the  crowd  and  pa- 
tiently replaced  by  the  little  children.  One  tear- 
ful small  boy  described  his  morning  when  he 
said  he  had  done  nothing  but  play,  but  first  the 
"  cop  "  had  snatched  his  dice,  then  his  "  cat '  (a 
piece  of  wood  sharpened  at  both  ends),  and 
nobody  wanted  him  to  chalk  on  the  sidewalk, 
and  he  had  been  arrested  for  throwing  a  ball. 

A  man  since  risen  to  distinction  in  educa- 
tional circles,  whose  childhood  was  passed  in 
our  neighborhood,  told  me  how  he  and  his  com- 
panions had  once  taken  a  dressmaker's  lay  fig- 
ure. They  had  no  money  to  spend  on  the 
theater  and  no  place  to  play  in  but  a  cellar. 
They  had  admired  the  gaudy  posters  of  a  melo- 
drama in  which  the  hero  rescues  the  lady  and 
carries  her  over  a  chasm.  Having  no  lady  in 
their  cast,  they  borrowed  the  dressmaker's  lay 
figure — without  permission.  Fortunately,  and 


accidentally,  they  escaped  detection.  It  is  not 
difficult  to  see  how  the  entire  course  of  this 
boy's  career  might  have  been  altered  if  arrest 
had  followed,  with  its  consequent  humiliation 
and  degradation.  At  least,  looking  back  upon 
it,  the  young  man  sees  how  the  incident  might 
have  deflected  his  life. 

The  instruction  in  folk-dancing  which  the 
children  now  receive  in  the  public  schools  and 
recreation  centers  has  done  much  to  develop  a 
wholesome  and  delightful  form  of  exercise,  and 
has  given  picturesqueness  to  the  dancing  in  the 
streets.  But  yesterday  I  found  myself  pausing 
on  East  Houston  Street  to  watch  a  group  of 
children  assemble  at  the  sound  of  a  familiar 
dance  from  a  hurdy-gurdy,  and  looking  up  I 
met  the  sympathetic  smile  of  a  teamster  who 
also  had  stopped.  The  children,  absorbed  in 
their  dance,  were  quite  unconscious  that  con- 
gested traffic  had  halted  and  that  busy  people 
had  taken  a  moment  from  their  engrossing 
problems  to  be  refreshed  by  the  sight  of  their 
youth  and  grace.  For  that  brief  instant  even 
the  cry  of  "  War  Extra  '  was  unheeded. 

Touching  as  are  the  little  children  deprived 
of  opportunity  for  wholesome  play,  a  deeper 
compassion  stirred  our  hearts  when  we  began 


to  realize  the  critically  tender  age  at  which 
many  of  them  share  the  experiences,  anxieties, 
and  tragedies  of  the  adult.  I  cannot  efface  from 
my  memory  the  picture  of  a  little  eight-year-old 
girl  whom  I  once  found  standing  on  a  chair  to 
reach  a  washtub,  trying  with  her  tiny  hands 
to  cleanse  some  bed-linen  which  would  have 
been  a  task  for  an  older  person.  Every  few 
minutes  the  child  got  down  from  her  chair  to 
peer  into  the  next  room  where  her  mother  and 
the  new-born  baby  lay,  all  her  little  mind  intent 
upon  giving  relief  and  comfort.  She  had  been 
alone  with  her  mother  when  the  baby  was  born 
and  terror  was  on  her  face. 

I  think  the  memory  never  left  her,  but  it  may 
be  only  that  her  presence  called  up,  even  after 
the  lapse  of  years,  a  vision  of  the  anxious  little 
face  inevitably  contrasted  in  my  mind  with  the 
picture  of  irresponsible  childhood. 

At  about  the  same  time  we  made  the  acquaint- 
ance of  the  K family,  through  nursing  one 

of  the  children.  The  mother  was  a  large- 
framed,  phlegmatic,  seemingly  emotionless 
type,  although  she  did  show  appreciation  of  our 
liking  for  her  children.  The  father  was  only 
occasionally  mentioned.  We  assumed  that  he 
was  away  seeking  work,  a  common  explanation 
then  of  the  absence  of  the  men  of  the  families. 
One  afternoon  I  stopped  at  their  house  to  make 


arrangements  for  the  children's  trip  to  the  coun- 
try. Early  the  next  morning,  awakened  by 
a  pounding  on  the  door,  I  opened  it  to  find  little 
Esther  beside  herself  with  excitement,  repeating 
over  and  over,  "  My  mother  she  die !  My  mother 
she  die!'  Following  fast,  it  was  not  possible 
to  keep  pace  with  her.  When,  breathless,  I  en- 
tered their  rooms  it  was  to  see  the  mother's 
body  hanging  from  a  doorway.  She  had  been 
brooding  over  a  summons  to  testify  in  court  that 
morning  against  her  husband,  who  had  been  ar- 
rested for  bigamy,  and  this  was  her  answer  to 
the  court  and  to  the  other  woman. 

The  frightened  little  children  were  scattered 
among  different  institutions.  From  one  of  these 
Esther  was  sent  West,  to  a  home  that  was 
found  for  her.  Possibly  she  was  so  young 
that  the  terrible  picture  faded  from  her  mind. 
At  least  there  was  no  mention  of  it  in  the  first 
letter  which  she  wrote,  announcing  that  her 
new  home  was  a  farm  and  that  they  had  '  six 
cows,  eighty  chickens,  eleven  pigs,  and  a 
nephew"  The  nephew  Esther  eventually  mar- 

In  the  first  party  of  children  that  we  sent  to 
the  country  were  three  little  girls,  daughters  of 
a  skilled  cobbler.  The  mother,  a  complaining, 
exacting  invalid,  spent  a  large  proportion  of  her 
husband's  earnings  for  patent  medicines.  Annie, 


not  quite  twelve,  was  the  household  drudge, 
and  the  coming  of  the  settlement  nurse  lifted 
only  part  of  her  burden.  The  new  friends,  de- 
termined to  get  at  least  two  weeks  of  care-free 
childhood  for  the  little  girls,  procured  an  invi- 
tation for  them,  through  a  Fresh-Air  agency, 
from  a  farmer  in  the  western  part  of  the  state. 
It  was  necessary  to  secure  the  mother's  admis- 
sion to  a  hospital  during  the  time  the  children 
would  be  absent  from  home — not  an  easy  task, 
as  she  was  not  what  is  termed  a  "  hospital 
case."  When  we  met  the  children  at  the  railroad 
station  on  their  return,  their  joyousness  and 
bubbling  spirits  attracted  the  attention  of  the  on- 
lookers; but  as  Annie  neared  home  its  responsi- 
bilities fell  like  a  heavy  cloud  upon  her,  and 
before  we  reached  the  tenement  she  was  silent. 
Her  quick  eye  discerned  the  absence  of  the 
brick  which  had  kept  the  front  hall  door  open, 
and  in  a  second  she  had  darted  into  the  yard 
and  replaced  it.  Before  we  left,  with  sleeves 
rolled  up  she  was  beginning  to  wash  the  pile 
of  dishes  that  had  accumulated  in  her  absence. 
Gone  was  the  gayety.  The  little  drudge  had 
resumed  her  place.  Later,  when  the  child  swore 
falsely  to  her  age,  and  the  notary  public,  upon 
whose  certificate  employment  papers  could  at 
that  time  be  obtained,  affixed  his  signature  to 
her  perjury,  the  position  she  secured  as  cash 


girl  in  the  basement  of  a  department  store  was, 
to  her,  emancipation  from  hateful  labor  and  an 
opportunity  for  fellowship  with  children. 

Recalling  early  days,  I  am  constantly  re- 
minded of  the  sympathy  and  comprehension  of 
those  friends  who,  though  not  stimulated  as  my 
comrade  and  I  were  by  constant  reminders  of 
the  children's  needs,  from  the  beginning  pro- 
moted and  often  anticipated  our  efforts  to  pro- 
vide innocent  recreation.  We  had  not  thought 
of  the  possibility  of  giving  pleasure  to  large 
groups  of  children  in  picnics  and  day  parties, 
when  a  friend,  a  few  days  after  our  arrival  in 
the  neighborhood,  asked  us  to  celebrate  his  sis- 
ter's birthday  by  giving  "  fun  '  to  some  of  our 
new  acquaintances.  I  yet  remember  the  thrill 
I  felt  when  I  realized  that  this  gift  was  not  for 
shoes  or  practical  necessities,  but  for  "  just  what 
children  anywhere  would  like." 

Two  memories  of  this  first  party  stand  out 
sharply:  the  songs  the  children  sang, — "She's 
More  to  be  Pitied  than  Censured,"  and  "  Judge, 
Forgive  Him,  Tis  His  First  Offense," — pain- 
fully revealing  a  precocious  knowledge,  and  their 
ecstasy  at  the  sight  of  a  wonderful  dogwood 
tree.  Now,  when  the  settlement  children  go 
on  day  parties,  they  have  another  repertory,  and 


the  music  they  learn  in  the  public  schools  re- 
flects the  finer  thought  for  the  child. 

During  the  two  years  that  Miss  Brewster  and 
I  lived  in  the  Jefferson  Street  house  we  fre- 
quently made  up  impromptu  parties  to  visit  the 
distant  parks,  usually  on  Sunday  afternoons 
when  we  were  likely  to  be  free.  After  a  while 
it  was  not  difficult  to  secure  comradeship  for 

the  children  from  men  and  women  of  our  ac- 
quaintance, and  the  parties  were  multiplied.  In 
the  winter,  rumors  of  "  a  fine  hill  all  covered 
with  snow '  on  Riverside  Drive  would  be  a 
stimulus  to  secure  a  sled  or  improvise  a  tobog- 
gan, and  we  found  that,  given  opportunity  and 
encouragement,  the  city  tenement  boys  threw 
themselves  readily  into  venturesome  sport. 

Happily  some  of  the  early  prejudice  against 
ball-playing  on  Sunday  has  vanished.  We  were 
perplexed  in  those  days  to  explain  to  the  lads 
why,  when  they  saw  the  ferries  and  trains  con- 
vey golfers  suitably  attired  and  expensively 





equipped  for  a  day's  sport,  their  own  games 
should  outrage  respectable  citizens  and  cause 
them  to  be  constantly  '  chased  '  by  the  police. 
The  saloons  could  be  entered,  as  everybody 
knew,  and  I  remember  a  father,  defending  his 
eight-year-old  son  from  an  accusation  of  theft, 
instancing  as  proof  of  the  child's  trustworthi- 
ness that  "  all  the  Christians  on  Jackson  Street 
sent  him  for  their  beer  on  Sundays." 

In  our  search  for  a  place  where  the  boys 
might  play  undisturbed,  one  of  the  settlement 
residents,  a  never-failing  friend  of  the  young 
people,  invoked  the  Federal  Government  itself, 
and  secured  for  them  an  unused  field  on  Gov- 
ernor's Island. 

Now,  in  summer  time,  many  of  the  organized 
activities  of  the  settlement  are  removed  from 
the  neighborhood.  Early  in  the  season  the 

hikers  '  begin  their  walks  with  club  leaders. 
I  felt  a  glow  of  happiness  one  Sunday  morning 
when  I  stood  on  the  steps  of  our  house  and 
watched  six  different  groups  of  boys  set  off  for 
the  country,  with  ball  and  bat  and  sandwiches, 
each  group  led  by  a  young  man  who  had  him- 
self been  a  member  of  our  early  parties  and 
had  been  first  introduced  to  trees  and  open 
spaces,  and  the  more  active  forms  of  healthful 
play  by  his  settlement  friends. 

The  woeful  lack  of  imagination  displayed  in 


building  a  city  without  recognizing  the  need  of 
its  citizens  for  recreation  through  play,  music, 
and  art,  has  been  borne  in  upon  us  many  times. 
New  Yorkers  need  to  be  reminded  that  the 
Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art  was  effectually 
closed  to  a  large  proportion  of  the  citizens  until, 
on  May  31,  1891,  it  opened  its  doors  on  Sun- 
days. It  is  interesting  to  recall  that  of  the 
80,000  signatures  to  the  petition  for  this  privi- 
lege, 50,000  were  of  residents  of  the  lower  East 
Side  and  were  presented  by  the  "  Working  Peo- 
ple's Petition  Committee/3  The  report  of  the 
Museum  trustees  following  the  Sunday  open- 
ing notes  that  after  a  little  disorder  and  con- 
fusion at  the  start  the  experiment  proved  a  suc- 
cess; that  the  attendance  was  "  respectable,  law- 
abiding,  and  intelligent/'  and  that  "  the  labor- 
ing classes  were  well  represented."  They  were 


also  obliged  to  report,  however,  that  the  Sun- 
day opening  had  "  offended  some  of  the  Mu- 
seum's best  friends  and  supporters,"  and  that 
it  had  "  resulted  in  the  loss  of  a  bequest  of 

When  we  left  the  tenement  house  we  were 
fortunate  to  find  for  sale,  on  a  street  that  still 
bore  evidences  of  its  bygone  social  glory,  a 
house  which  readily  lent  itself  to  the  restorer's 
touch.  Tradition  says  that  many  of  these  fine 
old  East  Side  houses  were  built  by  cabinet- 
makers who  came  over  from  England  during 
the  War  of  1812  and  remained  here  as  citizens. 
The  generous  purchaser  allowed  us  freedom  to 
repair,  restore,  and  alter,  as  our  taste  directed. 
Attractive  as  we  found  the  house,  we  were  even 
more  excited  over  the  possibilities  of  the  little 
back  yard.  Our  first  organized  effort  for  the 
neighborhood  was  to  convert  this  yard  and  one 
belonging  to  an  adjacent  school,  with,  later,  the 
yard  of  a  third  house  rented  by  one  of  our  resi- 
dents, into  a  miniature  but  very  complete  play- 
ground. There  was  so  little  precedent  to  guide 
us  that  our  resourcefulness  was  stimulated,  and 
we  succeeded  in  achieving  what  the  President 
of  the  National  Playground  Association  has 
called  the  "  Bunker  Hill  "  of  playgrounds. 


Along  the  borders  we  planted  bright-colored 
flowers — which  were  not  disturbed  by  the  chil- 
dren. An  old  wistaria  vine  on  a  trellis  covered 
nearly  a  third  of  the  playground,  and  two  ailan- 
thus  trees,  usually  regarded  with  contempt  by 
tree  lovers,  were  highly  cherished  by  those  who 
otherwise  would  have  lived  a  treeless  life.  Win- 
dow-boxes jutted  from  the  rear  windows  of  the 
two  houses  controlled  by  the  settlement,  and  in 
one  corner,  shaded  by  a  striped  awning,  we  put 
the  big  sand-pile.  Joy-giving  "  scups '  (the 
local  name  for  swings)  were  erected,  and  some 
suitable  gymnastic  apparatus,  parallel  bars  and 
overhead  ladder  placed.  Baby  hammocks  were 
swung,  their  occupants  tenderly  cared  for  by 
little  mothers  and  little  fathers.  Manual  train- 
ing was  provided  by  a  picturesque  sailor  from 
Sailors'  Snug  Harbor,  who,  at  a  stretching 
frame,  taught  the  making  of  hammocks. 

In  the  morning  under  the  pergola  an  informal 
kindergarten  was  conducted,  and  in  the  after- 
noon attendants  directed  play  and  taught  the 
use  of  gymnastic  apparatus.  Later  in  the  day 
the  mothers  and  older  children  came,  and  a 
little  hurdy-gurdy  occasionally  marked  the 
rhythm  of  the  dance.  So  interested  in  the  play- 
ground were  the  household  and  their  visitors 
that  at  odd  moments  an  enthusiast  would  rush 
in  from  other  duties  and  give  the  hurdy-gurdy 







an  extra  turn,  to  supplement  the  entertainment. 
At  night  the  baby  hammocks  and  chairs  were 
stored  away  and  Japanese  lanterns  illuminated 
the  playground,  which  then  welcomed  the 
young  people  who,  after  their  day's  work,  took 
pleasure  in  each  other's  society  and  in  singing 
familiar  songs. 

On  Saturday  afternoons  the  playground  was 
used  almost  exclusively  by  fathers  and  mothers, 
but  it  was  a  pretty  sight  at  all  times,  and  the 
value  placed  upon  it  by  those  who  used  it  was 
far  in  excess  of  our  own  estimate.  It  was  some- 
thing more  than  amusement  that  moved  us 
when  a  young  couple,  who  had  been  invited  to 
one  of  the  evening  parties,  stood  at  the  back 
door  of  the  settlement  house  and  gazed  admir- 
ingly at  the  little  pleasure  place.  Gowned  in 
white,  we  awaited  our  guests,  and  as  I  rose  from 
the  bench  under  the  pergola  to  cross  the  yard 
and  give  them  welcome,  the  young  printer  said 
with  enthusiasm,  "  This  must  be  like  the  scenes 
of  country  life  in  English  novels/3 

It  was  a  heaven  of  delight  to  the  children, 
and  ingenuity  was  displayed  by  those  who 
sought  admittance.  The  children  soon  learned 
that  "  little  mothers '  and  their  charges  had 
precedence,  and  there  was  rivalry  as  to  who 
should  hold  the  family  baby.  When  (as  rarely 
happened)  there  was  none  in  the  family,  a  baby 


was  borrowed.  Six-year-olds,  clasping  babies 
of  stature  almost  equal  to  their  own,  would 
stand  outside,  hoping  to  attract  attention  to 
their  special  claims.  Once,  when  the  play- 
ground was  filled  to  capacity,  and  the  sidewalk 
in  front  of  the  house  was  thronged,  the  Olym- 
pian at  the  gate  endeavored  to  make  it  clear 
that  no  more  could  enter.  One  persistent  small 
girl  stood  stolidly  and  when  reminded  of  the 
condition  said,  Yes,  teacher,  but  can't  I  get 
in?  I  ain't  got  no  mother." 

There  was  much  illness,  unemployment,  and 
consequent  suffering  the  next  winter.  One  day, 
when  I  visited  a  school  in  the  neighborhood, 
the  principal  asked  the  pupils  if  they  knew  me. 
She  doubtless  anticipated  some  reference  to  the 
material  services  which  the  settlement  had  ren- 
dered, but  the  answer  to  her  question  was  a  glad 
chorus  of,  "  Yes,  ma'am,  yes,  ma'am,  she's  our 
scupping  teacher."  "  Teacher '  was  a  generic 
term  for  the  residents,  and  nothing  that  the  set- 
tlement had  contributed  to  the  life  of  the  neigh- 
borhood impressed  the  children  as  had  the  play- 
ground. It  is  worth  reminding  those  who  are 
associated  with  young  people  that  the  power  to 
influence  is  given  to  those  who  play  with, 
rather  than  to  those  who  only  teach,  them.  Our 
children  on  the  East  Side  are  not  peculiar  in 
this  respect.  To  this  day  I  receive  letters  from 


men  and  women  who  try  to  recall  themselves  to 
my  memory  by  saying  that  they  once  played  in 
our  back  yard. 

An  organized  propaganda  for  outdoor  gym- 
nasia and  playgrounds  crystallized  in  1898  in  the 
formation  of  the  Outdoor  Recreation  League, 

in  which  the  settlement  participated.  The  tire- 
less president  of  the  League  eventually  suc- 
ceeded in  obtaining  the  use  of  a  large  space  in 
our  neighborhood,  originally  purchased  by  the 
city,  during  a  brief  reform  administration,  for  a 
park.  Some  very  undesirable  tenement  houses 


had  been  destroyed,  and  when  a  Tammany  ad- 
ministration returned  to  power  a  hot  summer 
was  allowed  to  pass  with  nothing  done  to  ac- 
complish the  original  purpose.  Unsightly  holes, 
once  cellars,  remained  to  fill  with  stagnant 
water,  amputated  sewer-  and  gas-pipes  were 
exposed,  and  among  these  the  children  played 
mimic  battles  of  the  Spanish-American  War, 
then  in  progress. 

The  accident  that  the  Commissioner  of 
Health,  a  semi-invalid,  felt  gratitude  to  a 
trained  nurse  who  had  cared  for  him,  gave  me 
an  opportunity  to  approach  him  on  the  subject. 
He  promised  (and  he  kept  his  promise)  to  use 
his  influence  to  get  an  appropriation  on  the  score 
of  the  menace  to  the  health  of  the  city.  The  ap- 
propriation was  sufficient  to  fill  in  the  space  and 
surround  it  with  a  fence,  and  the  Outdoor  Recre- 
ation League  was  able  to  demonstrate  the  value 
of  playgrounds.  In  1902  the  Board  of  Esti- 
mate and  Apportionment  of  Mayor  Seth  Low's 
reform  administration,  at  its  first  meeting,  ap- 
propriated money  for  the  equipment  and  main- 
tenance of  Seward  Park,  as  it  was  named, — the 
first  municipal  playground  in  New  York  City. 
So  much  interest  had  been  aroused  in  this  phase 
of  city  government  that  two  city  officials  left 
the  board  meeting  while  it  was  in  progress  to 


telephone  to  the  settlement  that  the  appropria- 
tion had  been  passed. 

Many  friends  of  the  children  combined  to 
urge  the  use  of  the  public  schools  as  recreation 
centers,  and  in  the  summer  of  1898  the  first 
schools  were  opened  for  that  purpose.  Those  of 
us  who  had  practical  experience  helped  to  start 
these  by  acting  as  volunteer  inspectors.  The 
settlement  then  felt  justified  in  devoting  less 
effort  to  its  own  playground,  and  deflected  some 
of  the  energies  it  required  to  meet  other  press- 
ing needs. 

It  is  a  delight  to  give  the  children  stories 
from  the  Bible  and  the  old  mythologies,  fairy 
tales,  and  lives  of  heroes,  and  we  mark  as 
epochal  Maude  Adams's  inspiration  to  invite 
our  children  and  others  not  likely  to  have  the 
opportunity  to  see  Peter  Pan.  She  has  given 
joy  to  thousands,  but  it  is  doubtful  if  she  can 
measure,  as  we  do,  the  influence  of  '  the  ever- 
lasting boy."  Through  him  romance  has 
touched  these  children,  and  not  a  few  of  the 
letters  spontaneously  written  to  Peter  Pan  from 
tenement  homes  have  seemed  to  us  not  un- 
worthy of  Barrie  himself.  Protest  against 
leaving  the  big,  familiar  farmhouse  at  one  of 
our  country  places,  when  an  overflow  of  visitors 


necessitated  a  division  of  the  little  ones  at 
night,  was  immediately  withdrawn  when  the 
children  were  told  that  the  annex,  perched  on 
high  ground,  was  a  "  Wendy  House.'3 

:  ^3&   Tvi  V*  ..  •'  i  '          "I'lff" 

The  need  of  care  for  convalescents  was  early 
recognized,  and  the  settlement's  first  country 
house  was  for  them.  It  was  opened  in  1899, 
and  its  maintenance  is  the  generous  gift  of  a 
young  woman,  a  member  of  the  early  group 
that  gathered  in  the  Henry  Street  house.  We 
soon  felt,  however,  that  it  was  essential  that 
children  and  young  people  as  well  as  invalids 
should  have  knowledge  of  life  other  than  that 
of  the  crowded  tenement  and  factory;  and  from 
the  time  of  the  establishment  of  our  first  kin- 
dergarten we  longed  to  have  the  children  know 



the  reality  of  the  things  they  sang  about,  the 
birds  and  animals  which  so  often  formed  the 
subject  of  their  games.  A  little  girl  in  one  of 
the  parties  taken  to  see  Peter  Pan  turned  to  her 
beloved  club  leader  when  the  crocodile  appeared 
and  asked  timidly  if  it  was  a  field-mouse!  A 
recent  lesson  had  been  about  that  "  animal."  It 

seems  almost  incredible  that  the  description, 
probably  supplemented  by  a  picture,  should  not 
have  made  a  more  definite  impression  upon  the 
child's  mind;  but  I  am  inclined  to  think  that 
little  children  can  form  no  accurate  conception 
of  unknown  objects  from  pictures  or  descrip- 
tion. A  neighborhood  teacher  took  her  class  to 
the  menagerie  in  Central  Park  just  after  a  les- 
son on  the  cow  and  its  "  gifts  " — milk,  cream, 
butter.  She  hoped  that  the  young  buffalo's  re- 
semblance to  the  cow  might  suggest  itself  to 
the  children  who,  of  course,  had  never  seen  a 


cow.  In  answer  to  her  question  an  eager  little 
boy  gave  testimony  to  the  impression  the  les- 
son had  made  on  his  mind  when  he  answered, 
"  Yes,  ma'am.  I  know  it.  It's  a  butterfly" 

We  value  the  "  day  parties '  for  incidental 
education  as  well  as  for  the  pleasure  they  afford. 
Each  year  as  spring  approaches  a  census  is 
taken  of  the  surrounding  blocks,  that  the  new 
arrivals  may  be  included  in  the  excursions.  The 
most  treasured  invitations  for  these  parties 
come  from  friends  whose  country  estates  are 
near  enough  to  offer  hospitality,  and  to  whose 
gardens  and  stables  the  children  are  taken. 
The  larger  parties,  composed  of  women  and 
children,  usually  go  to  the  seashore  in  chartered 
cars,  and  these  excursions,  purely  recreative, 
compete,  and  not  unsuccessfully,  with  the  clam- 
bakes and  outings  of  the  old-time  political 

The  beautiful  country  places  presented  to  the 
settlement  for  vacation  purposes,  and  the  com- 
parative readiness  with  which  money  for  equip- 
ment and  maintenance  for  non-paying  guests 
has  been  given,  indicates  the  favor  with  which 
this  development  of  neighborhood  work  is 
regarded.  Opportunities  for  confidence  and 
mutual  understanding,  not  always  possible  in 
the  formal  relationships  of  clubs  and  classes, 
are  afforded  by  the  intimacy  of  country-house 





i—  « 


















parties.  The  possibility  of  giving  direction  at 
critical  periods  of  character-formation,  particu- 
larly during  adolescence,  and  of  discovering 
clews  to  deep-lying  causes  of  disturbance,  makes 
the  country  life  a  valuable  extension  of  the  or- 
ganized social  work  of  the  settlement.  "  River- 
holm/'  overhanging  the  Hudson;  "Camp 
Henry/'  on  a  beautiful  lake;  the  "  House  in  the 

Woods,"  "  Echo  Hill  Farm,"  and  a  commodious 
house  in  New  Jersey,  lent  by  friends  during 
the  summer  months,  give  us  the  means  whereby 
some  of  the  plans  we  cherish  may  be  carried 

It  would  be  inconsistent  with  settlement 
theories  if  these  country  places  did  not  express 
refinement  and  beauty, — the  beauty  that  belongs 
to  simplicity, — not  only  in  the  buildings,  but 


also  in  the  service  and  housekeeping.  It  has 
seemed  to  us,  therefore,  worth  the  additional 
expenditure  of  effort  to  have  small,  distinct 
household  units  wherever  practicable.  People 
who  live  in  crowded  homes,  walk  on  crowded 
streets,  ride  on  crowded  cars,  and  as  children 
attend  crowded  classrooms,  must  inevitably  ac- 

"  House  in  the  Woods." 

quire  distorted  views  of  life;  and  the  settle- 
ment is  reluctant  to  add  to  these  the  experience 
of  crowded  country  life.  Valuable  training  in 
housekeeping  is  possible  in  a  household  even 
of  from  fifteen  to  twenty-five  persons, — a  small 
unit  according  to  New  York  standards, — and 
tactful  direction  can  often  be  given  toward  ac- 



quiring  those  manners  generally  recognized  as 
"  good.53  Many  of  the  children  who  come  to 
us  know  only  foreign  customs  and  foreign  table- 
manners;  and  the  extreme  difficulty  of  maintain- 

ing  orderly  home  life  in  the  tenement  makes 
it  important  to  supplement  the  home-training 
or  to  supply  what  it  can  never  give.  Indeed, 
we  recognize  in  this  desire  to  protect  our  chil- 
dren from  being  marked  as  peculiar  or  alien 
because  of  non-essential  differences  the  same 
reason  that  urges  the  careful  mother  to  insist 


on  "  manners,"  that  her  children  may  not  be 
discredited  when  they  mingle  with  the  fas- 

The  ideal  of  limitation  as  to  numbers  cannot 
always  be  carried  out,  and  naturally  it  does  not 
apply  to  the  camp,  where  a  freer  and  less  con- 
ventional life  attracts  and  satisfies  boys  and 
young  men. 

The  older  members  of  the  settlement,  who 
are  earning  money,  use  the  camp  and  country 
places  as  clubs,  paying  for  the  privilege  and 
conforming  to  the  regulations  which  they  have 
had  a  share  in  establishing. 

Those  who  have  promoted  the  various  Fresh- 
Air  agencies  throughout  the  country  may  not 
realize  that  physical  benefit  is  not  all  that  has 

been  secured.  We  are  persuaded  that  oppor- 
tunity to  know  life  away  from  the  city  is  in 
part  the  explanation  of  the  increasing  number 


of  city  boys  who  elect  training  in  agriculture 
and  forestry.  Formerly,  when  careers  were 
discussed,  the  future  held  no  happiness  unless 
it  promised  a  profession — law  or  medicine. 

If  I  appear  to  lay  too  much  stress  upon  the 
importance  of  play  and  recreation,  it  may  be 
well  to  point  out  that  it  is  one  way  of  recog- 
nizing the  dignity  of  the  child.  The  study  of 
juvenile  delinquency  shows  how  often  the  young 
offender's  presence  in  the  courts  may  be  traced 
to  a  play-impulse  for  which  there  was  no  safe 

Perhaps  nothing  more  definitely  indicates  the 
changed  attitude  toward  children  and  play  than 
the  fact  that  last  summer  (1914)  the  police  offi- 
cers of  the  precinct  called  to  enlist  our  co-op- 
eration in  carrying  out  the  orders  of  the  city 
administration  that  during  certain  hours  of  the 
day  traffic  was  to  be  shut  off  from  designated 
streets,  that  the  children  might  play  there.  The 
visit  brought  to  mind  years  of  painstaking 
effort  to  secure  the  toleration  of  harmless  play, 
and  the  hope  we  had  dared  to  express,  despite 
incredulity  on  the  part  of  the  police,  that  some 
day  the  children  might  come  to  regard  them  as 
guardians  and  protectors,  rather  than  as  a  fear- 
inspiring  and  hated  force.  One  captain  of  the 
precinct,  at  least,  had  proved  the  practicability 
of  our  theory,  and  when  he  was  transferred  we 


lost  a  valuable  co-worker.  The  Governor  of 
New  York,  campaigning  for  re-election  in  the 
fall  of  this  year  (1914),  advocated  that  public 
schools  should  be  surrounded  by  playgrounds 
at  "  no  matter  what  cost/3 

Tremendous  impetus  has  been  given  to  the 
playground  movement  throughout  the  entire 
country  by  individuals  and  societies  organized 
for  the  purpose.  Wise  men  and  women  have 
expounded  the  social  philosophy  of  play  and 
recreation,  pointing  out  that  these  may  afford 
wholesome  expression  for  energies  which  might 
otherwise  be  diverted  into  channels  disastrous 
to  peace  and  happiness;  that  clean  sport  and 
stimulating  competition  can  replace  the  gang 
feud  and  even  modify  racial  antagonisms.  The 
most  satisfactory  evidence  of  this  conviction  is, 
of  course,  the  recognition  of  the  child's  right  to 
play,  as  an  integral  part  of  his  claim  upon  the 



PERHAPS  nothing  makes  a  profounder  impres- 
sion on  the  newcomer  to  our  end  of  the  city 
than  the  value  placed  by  the  Jew  upon  educa- 
tion; an  overvaluation,  one  is  tempted  to  think, 
in  view  of  the  sacrifices  which  are  made,  par- 
ticularly for  the  boys, — though  of  late  years  the 
girls'  claims  have  penetrated  even  to  the  Orien- 
tal home. 

One  afternoon  a  group  of  old-world  women 
sat  in  the  reception-room  at  the  settlement  while 
one  of  the  residents  sang  and  played  negro 
melodies.  With  the  melancholy  minor  of  "  Let 
My  People  Go,"  the  women  began  crooning  a 
song  that  told  the  story  of  Cain  and  Abel. 
The  melody  was  not  identical,  but  so  similar 
that  they  thought  they  recognized  the  song  as 
their  own;  and  when  a  discussion  arose  upon 
the  coincidence  that  two  persecuted  peoples 
should  claim  this  melody,  the  women,  touched 
by  the  music,  confessed  their  homesick  longing 
for  Russia — for  Russia  that  had  dealt  so  un- 
kindly with  them. 



"  Rather  a  stone  for  a  pillow  in  my  own 
home/'  said  one  woman  on  whom  life  had 
pressed  hard.  "Would  you  go  back?'  she  was 
asked.  "Oh,  no,  no,  no!'  emphasizing  the 

words  by  a  swaying  of  the  body  and  a  shaking 
of  the  head.  "  It  is  not  poverty  we  fear.  It  is 
not  money  we  are  seeking  here.  We  do  not 
expect  things  for  ourselves.  It  is  the  chance 
for  the  children,  education  and  freedom  for 


The  passion  of  the  Russian  Jews  for  intel- 
lectual attainment  recalls  the  spirit  of  the  early 
New  England  families  and  their  willingness  to 
forego  every  comfort  that  a  son  might  be  set 
apart  for  the  ministry.  Here  we  are  often  wit- 
nesses of  long-continued  deprivation  on  the  part 
of  every  member  of  the  family,  a  willingness 
to  deny  themselves  everything  but  the  barest 
necessities  of  life,  that  there  may  be  a  doctor,  a 
lawyer,  or  a  teacher  among  them.  Submission 
to  bad  housing,  excessive  hours,  and  poor  work- 
ing conditions  is  defended  as  of  "  no  matter  be- 
cause the  children  will  have  better  and  can  go 
to  school — maybe  college."  Said  a  baker  who 
showed  the  ill-effects  of  basement  and  night 
work  and  whose  three  rooms  housed  a  family 
of  ten:  "My  boy  is  already  in  the  high  school. - 
If  I  can't  keep  on,  the  Herr  Gott  will  take  it 
up  where  I  leave  off/3 

A  painful  instance  was  that  of  a  woman  who 
came  to  the  settlement  one  evening.  Her  son 
was  studying  music  under  one  of  the  most 
famous  masters  in  Vienna,  and  she  had  exiled 
herself  to  New  York  in  order  to  earn  more 
money  for  him  than  she  could  possibly  earn  at 
home.  Literally,  as  I  afterwards  discovered, 
she  spent  nothing  upon  herself.  A  tenement 
family  gave  her  lodging  (a  bed  on  chairs)  and 
food,  in  return  for  scrubbing  done  after  her 


day's  work  in  the  necktie  factory.  The  Vien- 
nese master,  not  knowing  his  pupil's  circum- 
stances, or,  it  is  possible,  not  caring,  had  writ- 
ten that  the  young  man  needed  to  give  a 
concert,  an  additional  demand  which  it  was 
utterly  impossible  for  her  to  meet.  She  had 
already  given  up  her  home,  she  had  relin- 
quished her  wardrobe,  and  she  had  sold  her 
grave  for  him. 

One  young  lad  stands  out  among  the  many 
who  came  to  talk  over  their  desire  to  go  through 
college.  He  dreamed  of  being  great  and,  this 
period  of  hardship  over,  of  placing  his  family 
in  comfort.  I  felt  it  right  to  emphasize  his 
obligation  to  the  family;  the  father  was  dead, 
the  mother  burdened  with  anxiety  for  the  nu- 
merous children.  How  reluctant  I  was  to  do 
this  he  could  not  realize;  only  fourteen,  he  had 
impressed  us  with  his  fine  courage  and  intelli- 
gence, and  it  was  hard  to  resist  the  young 
pleader  and  to  analyze  with  him  the  common- 
place sordid  facts.  He  had  planned  to  work  all 
summer,  to  work  at  night,  and  he  was  hardly 
going  to  eat  at  all.  But  his  young  mind 
grasped,  almost  before  I  had  finished,  the  ethi- 
cal importance  of  meeting  his  nearest  duties. 
He  has  met  the  family  claims  with  generosity, 
and  has  realized  all  our  expectations  for  him 
by  acquiring  through  his  own  efforts  education 


and  culture;  and  he  evinces  an  unusual  sense  of 
civic   responsibility. 

Those  who  have  had  for  many  years  continu- 
ous acquaintance  with  the  neighborhood  have 
countless  occasions  to  rejoice  at  the  good  use 
made  of  the  education  so  ardently  desired,  and 


achieved  in  spite  of  wnat  nave  seemed  over- 
whelming odds.  New  York  City  is  richer  for 
the  contributions  made  to  its  civic  and  educa- 
tional life  by  th£  young  people  who  grew  up 
in  and  with  the  settlements,  and  who  are  not 
infrequently  reacty  crusaders  in  social  causes. 
A  country  gentle-man  one  day  lamented  to  me 
that  he  had  failed  to  keep  in  touch  with  what 
he  was  pleased  to  call  our  humanitarian  zeal, 
and  recalled  his  own  early  attempt  to  take  an 
East  Side  boy  t°  his  estate  and  employ  him. 
"  He  could  not  even  learn  to  harness  a  horse!' 
he  said,  with  implied  contempt  of  such  unfath- 
omable inefficiency-  Something  he  said  of  the 
lad's  characteristics  made  it  possible  for  me  to 
identify  him,  and  I  was  able  to  add  to  that  un- 
satisfactory first  chapter  another,  which  told  of 
the  boy's  contirluance  in  school,  of  his  success 
as  a  teacher  in  one  of  the  higher  institutions 
of  learning,  anc^  °f  his  remarkable  intelligence 
in  certain  vexec*  industrial  problems. 

Such  achievements  are  the  more  remarkable 
because  the  restated  tenement  home,  where  the 
family  life  go£s  on  in  two  or  three  rooms, 
affords  little  opportunity  for  reading  or  study. 
A  vivid  picture  °f  its  limitations  was  presented 
by  the  boy  who*  sought  a  quiet  corner  in  a  busy 
settlement.  "  J  can  never  study  at  home/'  he 


said,  "  because  sister  is  always  using  the  table 
to  wash  the  dishes." 

Study-rooms  were  opened  in  the  settlement  in 
1907,  where  the  boys  and  girls  find,  not  only 
a  quiet,  restful  place  in  which  to  do  their  work, 
but  also  the  needed  "  coaching."  The  school 
work  is  supplemented  by  illuminating  bulletins 
on  current  topics,  and  the  young  student  is  pro- 
vided with  the  aid  which  in  other  conditions  is 
given  by  parents  or  older  brothers  and  sisters. 
Such  study-rooms  are  now  maintained  by  the 
Board  of  Education  in  numerous  schools  of  the 
city, — "  Thanks  to  the  example  set  by  the  set- 
tlement/' the  superintendent  of  the  New  York 
school  system  reported. 

The  settlement  children  are  given  instruction 
in  the  selection  of  books  before  they  are  old 
enough  to  take  out  their  cards  in  the  public 
libraries.  Once  a  week,  on  Friday  afternoon, 
when  there  are  no  lessons  to  be  prepared,  our 
study-room  is  reserved  for  these  smallest 
readers.  The  books  are  selected  with  reference 
to  their  tastes  and  attainments,  and  fairy  tales 
are  on  the  shelves  in  great  numbers.  Of  course, 
no  settlement  could  entirely  satisfy  the  insa- 
tiable desire  for  these. 

One  day  when  the  room  was  being  used  for 
study  purposes  a  wee  neighbor  sauntered  in  and 
said  to  the  custodian,  "  Please,  I'd  like  a  fairy 


tale."  Although  reminded  that  these  books 
were  not  given  out  excepting  on  the  special 
day,  the  child  lingered.  She  saw  a  boy's  re- 
quest for  "  The  Life  of  Alexander  Hamilton ' 
and  a  girl's  wish  for  "  The  Life  of  Joan  of 
Arc '  complied  with.  Evidently  there  was  a 
way  to  get  one's  heart's  desire.  The  child  went 

A  A  A  A 

out,  reappeared  in  a  few  moments,  and  with  an 
air  of  confidence  again  addressed  the  librarian, 
this  time  with,  "Please,  I'd  like  the  life  of  a 

It  is  easy  to  excite  sympathy  in  our  neighbor- 
hood for  people  deprived  of  books  and  learning. 
One  year  I  accompanied  a  party  of  Northern 
people  to  the  Southern  Educational  Conference. 
We  were  all  much  stirred  by  the  appeal  of 
an  itinerant  Southern  minister  who  told  how 


the  poor  white  natives  traveled  miles  over 
the  mountains  to  hear  books  read.  He  pictured 
vividly  the  deprivation  of  his  neighbors,  who 
had  no  access  to  libraries  of  any  kind.  When  I 
returned  to  the  settlement  and  related  the  story 
to  the  young  people  in  the  clubs,  without  sug- 
gestion on  my  part  they  eagerly  voted  to  send 
the  minister  books  to  form  a  library;  and  for 
two  years  or  more,  until  the  Southerner  wrote 
that  he  had  sufficient  for  his  purpose,  the  clubs 
purchased  from  their  several  funds  one  book 
each  month,  suited  to  different  ages  and  tastes, 
according  to  their  own  excellent  discrimination. 

The  first  public  school  established  in  New 
York  City  (Number  i)  is  on  Henry  Street. 
Number  2  is  a  short  distance  from  it,  on  the 
same  street,  and  Number  147  is  at  our  corner. 
Between  their  sites  are  several  semi-public  and 
private  educational  institutions,  and  from 
School  No.  i  to  School  No.  147  the  distance  is 
not  more  than  three-quarters  of  a  mile. 

It  is  not  unnatural,  therefore,  that  the  school 
should  loom  large  in  our  consciousness  of  the 
life  of  the  child.  The  settlement  at  no  time 
would,  even  if  it  could,  usurp  the  place  of 
school  or  home.  It  seeks  to  work  with  both 
or  to  supplement  either.  The  fact  that  it  is 


flexible  and  is  not  committed  to  any  fixed  pro- 
gramme gives  opportunity  for  experimentation 
not  possible  in  a  rigid  system,  and  the  results 
of  these  experiments  must  have  affected  school 
methods,  at  least  in  New  York  City. 

Intelligent  social  workers  seize  opportunities 
for  observation,  and  almost  unconsciously  de- 
velop methods  to  meet  needs.  They  see  condi- 

tions as  they  are,  and  become  critical  of  systems 
as  they  act  and  react  upon  the  child  or  fail  to 
reach  him  at  all.  They  reverse  the  method  of 
the  school  teacher,  who  approaches  the  child 
with  preconceived  theories  and  a  determination 
to  work  them  out.  Where  the  school  fails,  it 
appears  to  the  social  workers  to  do  so  because 
it  makes  education  a  thing  apart, — because  it 
separates  its  work  from  all  that  makes  up  the 
child's  life  outside  the  classroom.  Great  em- 
phasis is  now  laid  upon  the  oversight  of  the 
physical  condition  of  children  from  the  time  of 
their  birth  through  school  life;  but  the  sugges- 


tion  of  this  extension  of  socialized  parental  con- 
trol did  not  emanate  from  those  within  the 
school  system. 

Cooking  has  been  taught  in  the  public  schools 
for  many  years,  and  the  instruction  is  of  great 
value  to  those  who  are  ad- 
mitted to  the  classes;  but 
appropriations  have  never 
been  sufficient  to  meet  all 
the  requirements,  and  the 
teaching  is  given  in  grades 
already  depleted  by  the 
girls  who  have  gone  to 
work,  and  who  will  per- 
haps never  again  have 
leisure  or  inclination  to 
learn  how  to  prepare  meals  for  husband  and 
children, — the  most  important  business  in  life 
for  most  women. 

The  laboratory  method  employed  in  the 
schools  never  seemed  to  us  sufficiently  related 
to  the  home  conditions  of  vast  numbers  of  the 
city's  population;  and,  therefore,  when  the  set- 
tlement undertook,  according  to  its  theory,  to 
supplement  the  girls'  education,  all  the  essen- 
tials of  our  own  housekeeping — stove,  refrigera- 
tor, bedrooms,  and  so  on — were  utilized.  But 
neither  were  single  bedrooms  and  rooms  set 
apart  for  distinct  purposes  entirely  satisfactory 


in  teaching  domestic  procedure  to  the  average 
neighbor;  and  the  leader  finally  developed  out 
of  her  knowledge  of  their  home  conditions  the 
admirable  system  of  "  Housekeeping  Centers  ' 
now  sustained  and  administered  by  a  commit- 
tee of  men  and  women  on  which  the  settlement 
has  representation. 

A  flat  was  rented  in  a  typical  Henry  Street 
tenement.  Intelligence  and  taste  were  exer- 
cised in  equipping  it  inexpensively  and  with 
furniture  that  required  the  least  possible  labor 
to  keep  it  free  from  dirt  and  vermin.  Classes 
were  formed  to  teach  housekeeping  in  its  every 
detail,  using  nothing  which  the  people  them- 
selves could  not  procure, — a  tiny  bathroom,  a 
gas  stove,  no  "  model '  tubs,  but  such  as  the 
landlord  provided  for  washing.  Cleaning,  dis- 
infecting, actual  purchasing  of  supplies  in  the 
shops  of  the  neighborhood,  household  accounts, 
nursing,  all  the  elements  of  homekeeping,  were 
systematically  taught.  The  first  winter  that  the 
center  was  opened  the  entire  membership  of  a 
class  consisted  of  girls  engaged  to  be  married, 
— clerks,  stenographers,  teachers;  none  were 
prepared  and  all  were  eager  to  have  the  homes 
which  they  were  about  to  establish  better  or- 
ganized and  more  intelligently  conducted  than 
those  from  which  they  had  come.  When 
one  young  woman  announced  her  betrothal, 


she  added,  "  And  I  am  fully  prepared  be- 
cause I  have  been  through  the  Housekeeping 

Other  centers  have  been  established  by  the 
committee  in  different  parts  of  the  city.  Dr. 
Maxwell,  Superintendent  of  Schools,  always 
sympathetic  and  ready  to  fit  instruction  to  the 
pupils'  needs,  has  encouraged  the  identification 
of  these  housekeeping  centers  with  the  schools. 
Whenever  an  enterprising  principal  desires  it, 
the  teachers  of  the  nearby  housekeeping  center 
are  made  a  part  of  the  school  system.  Perhaps 
we  may  some  day  see  one  attached  to  every 
public  school;  and  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that, 
when  institutions  of  higher  learning  fully 
realize  that  education  is  preparation  for  life, 
they  too  will  wonder  if  the  young  women  grad- 
uates of  their  colleges  should  not,  like  our 
little  girl  neighbors,  be  fitted  to  meet  their  great 
home-making  responsibilities. 

Out  of  the  experience  of  the  originator  of 
the  housekeeping  centers  "  Penny  Lunches ' 
for  the  public  schools  have  been  inaugurated, 
and  provide  a  hot  noonday  meal  for  children. 
The  committee  now  controlling  this  experiment 
has  inquired  into  food  values,  physical  effects 
on  children,  relation  to  school  attendance,  and 
so  on. 

The  schools  in  a  great  city  have  an  additional 


responsibility,  as  many  of  the  pupils  are  de- 
prived of  home  training  because  of  extreme  pov- 
erty or  the  absence  of  the  mother  at  work,  and 
a  measure  of  failure  may  be  traced  to  an  im- 
perfect realization  of  the  conditions  under 
which  pupils  live,  or  to  a  lack  of  training  on 
the  part  of  some  of  the  teachers.  The  Home- 
and-School  Visitor,  whose  duties  are  indicated 
in  her  title,  is  charged  to  bring  the  two  to- 
gether, that  each  may  help  the  other;  but  there 
are  few  visitors  as  yet,  and  the  effect  upon 
the  great  number  of  pupils  in  attendance 
(over  800,000  in  New  York)  is  obviously 

We  are  not  always  mindful  of  the  fact  that 
children  in  normal  homes  get  education  apart 
from  formal  lessons  and  instruction.  Sitting 
down  to  a  table  at  definite  hours,  to  eat  food 
properly  served,  is  training,  and  so  is  the  or- 
derly organization  of  the  home,  of  which  the 
child  so  soon  becomes  a  conscious  part.  There 
is  direction  toward  control  in  the  provision  for 
privacy,  beginning  with  the  sequestered  nursery 
life.  The  exchange  of  letters,  which  begins 
with  most  children  at  a  very  early  age,  the 
conversation  of  their  elders,  familiarity  with 
telegrams  and  telephones,  and  with  the  inci- 
dents of  travel,  stimulate  their  intelligence,  re- 
sourcefulness, and  self-reliance. 


Contrast  this  regulated  domestic  life  with  the 
experience  of  children — a  large  number  in  New 
York — who  may  never  have  been  seated  around 
a  table  in  an  orderly  manner,  at  a  given 
time,  for  a  family  meal.  Where  the  family  is 
large  and  the  rooms  small, 
and  those  employed  return 
at  irregular  hours,  its  mem- 
bers must  be  fed  at  different 
times.  It  is  not  uncommon 
in  a  neighborhood  such  as 
ours  to  see  the  mother  lean 
out  of  the  fourth-  or  fifth- 
story  window  and  throw 
down  the  bread-and-butter 
luncheon  to  the  little  child 
waiting  on  the  sidewalk  below — sometimes  to 
save  him  the  exertion  of  climbing  the  stairs, 
sometimes  because  of  insufficient  time.  The 
children  whose  mothers  work  all  day  and  who 
are  locked  out  during  their  absence  are  ex- 
pected to  shift  for  themselves,  and  may 
as  often  be  given  too  much  as  too  little  money 
to  appease  their  hunger.  Having  no  more  dis- 
cretion in  the  choice  of  food  than  other  chil- 
dren of  their  age,  they  become  an  easy  prey 
for  the  peddlers  of  unwholesome  foods  and  can- 
dies (often  with  gambling  devices  attached) 
who  prowl  outside  the  school  limits. 


Even  those  students  who  are  better  placed 
economically,  or  who  have  the  perseverance  to 
go  on  into  ..the  higher  schools,  may  have  had 
no  experience  but  that  of  a  disorganized  tene- 
ment home.  Emil  was  an  instance  of  this.  He 

supported  himself  while 
attending  school  by 
teaching  immigrants  at 
night.  We  invited  him 
to  a  party  at  one  of  our 
country  places  and  in- 
structed him  to  call  in 
the  morning  for  his 
railroad  ticket.  He 
failed  to  appear  until 
long  after  the  appointed 
hour,  not  realizing  that  trains  leave  on  sched- 
ule time.  Apparently  he  had  never  consulted 
a  time-table  or  taken  a  journey  except  with 
a  fresh-air  party  conducted  by  someone  else. 
Next  morning  he  returned  the  ticket,  and 
I  learned  that  he  had  not  reached  the  farm 
because  he  did  not  know  the  way  to  it  from 
the  station.  Somewhat  disconcerted  to  learn 
that  he  had  taken  fruitlessly  a  trip  of  some- 
thing over  an  hour's  duration,  I  asked  why  he 
had  not  telephoned  to  the  farm  for  directions. 
This  seventeen-year-old  boy,  in  his  third  year 
in  the  high  school,  had  not  thought  of  a  tele- 


phone  in  the  country.     Moreover,  he  had  never 
used   one   anywhere. 

Happily,  there  is  a  growing  realization  among 
educators  of  the  necessity  of  relating  the  school 
more  closely  to  the  children's  future,  and  it  is 
not  an  accident  that  one  of  the  widely  known 
authorities  on  vocational  guidance  has  had  long 
experience  in  settlements.1 

A  friend  has  recently  given  to  me  the  letters 
which  I  wrote  regularly  to  her  family  during 
the  first  two  years  of  my  life  on  the  East 
Side.  I  had  almost  forgotten,  until  these  let- 
ters recalled  it  to  me,  how  often  Miss  Brewster 
and  I  mourned  over  the  boys  and  girls  who 
were  not  in  school,  and  over  those  who  had 
already  gone  to  work  without  any  education. 
Almost  everyone  has  had  knowledge  at  some 
time  of  the  chagrin  felt  by  people  who  cannot 
read  or  write.  One  intelligent  woman  of  my 
acquaintance,  born  in  New  York  State,  ingen- 
iously succeeded  for  many  years  in  keeping  the 
fact  of  her  illiteracy  secret  from  the  people  with 
whom  she  lived  on  terms  of  intimacy,  buying 
the  newspaper  daily  and  making  a  pretense  of 
reading  it. 

1  "  The   Vocational   Guidance  of  Youth,"   by   Meyer   Bloomfield 
(Houghton  Mifflin  Co.). 


We  had  naively  assumed  that  elementary 
education  was  given  to  all,  and  were  appalled 
to  find  entire  families  unable  to  read  or  write, 
even  though  some  of  the  children  had  been 
born  in  America.  The  letters  remind  me,  too, 
of  the  efforts  we  made  to  get  the  children  we 
encountered  into  school, — day  school  or  night 
school,  public  or  private, — and  how  many  dif- 
ferent people  reacted  to  our  appeals.  The  De- 
partment of  Health,  to  facilitate  our  efforts, 
supplied  us  with  virus  points  and  authority  to 
vaccinate,  since  no  unvaccinated  child  could  be 
admitted  to  school.  We  gave  such  publicity  as 
was  in  our  power  to  the  conditions  we  found, 
not  disdaining  to  stir  emotionally  by  our 
'  stories '  when  dry  and  impersonal  statistics 
failed  to  impress. 

Since  those  days,  New  York  City  has  estab- 
lished a  school  census  and  has  almost  perfected 
a  policy  whereby  all  children  are  brought  into 
school;  but  throughout  the  state  there  are  com- 
munities where  the  compulsory  education  law 
is  disregarded.  The  Federal  Census  of  1910 
shows  in  this  Empire  State,  in  the  counties 
(Franklin  and  Clinton)  inhabited  by  the  native- 
born,  illiteracy  far  in  excess  of  that  in  the  coun- 
ties where  the  foreign-born  congregate. 

Wonderful  advance  has  been  made  within 
two  decades  in  the  conception  of  municipal  re- 


sponsibility  for  giving  schooling  to  all  children. 
Now  the  blind,  the  deaf,  the  cripples,  and  the 
mentally  defective  are  included  among  those 
who  have  the  right  to  education.  When  in 
1893  I  climbed  the  stairs  in  a  Monroe  Street 
tenement  in  answer  to  a  call  to  a  sick  child,  I 

found   Annie   F lying   on   a   tumbled   bed, 

rigid  in  the  braces  which  encased  her  from 
head  to  feet.  All  about  her  white  goods  were 
being  manufactured,  and  five  machines  were 
whirring  in  the  room.  She  had  been  dismissed 
from  the  hospital  as  incurable,  and  her  mother 
carried  her  at  intervals  to  an  uptown  ortho- 
pedic dispensary.  A  pitiful,  emaciated  little 
creature!  The  sweatshop  was  transfigured  for 
Annie  when  we  put  pretty  white  curtains  at 
the  window  upon  which  she  gazed,  hung  up  a 
bird-cage,  and  placed  a  window-box  full  of 
growing  plants  for  her  to  look  at  during  the 
long  days.  Then,  realizing  that  she  might  live 
many  years  and  would  need,  even  more  than 
other  children,  the  joys  that  come  from  books, 
we  found  a  young  woman  who  was  willing  to 
go  to  her  bedside  and  teach  her. 

Nowadays  children  crippled  as  Annie  was 
may  be  taken  to  school  daily,  under  the  super- 
vision of  a  qualified  nurse,  in  a  van  that  calls 
for  them  and  brings  them  home.  One  of  these 
schools,  established  by  intelligent  philanthro- 


pists,  is  on  Henry  Street;  the  instructors  are  en- 
gaged and  paid  by  the  Department  of  Educa- 
tion. There  are  also  classes  in  different  sections 
of  the  city  equipped  for  the  special  needs  of 
cripples,  to  give  them  industrial  training  which 
will  provide  for  their  future  happiness  and  eco- 
nomic independence. 


EDUCATORS  have  only  recently  realized  the  ex- 
istence of  large  numbers  of  pupils  within  the 
schools  who  are  unequal  to  the  routine  class- 
work  because  of  mental  defects.  It  was  one  of 
our  settlement  residents,  a  teacher  in  a  Henry 
Street  school,  who  first  startled  us  into  serious 
consideration  of  these  children.  In  the  year 
1899  she  brought  to  us  from  time  to  time  re- 
ports of  a  colleague,  Elizabeth  Farrell,  whose 
attention  was  fixed  upon  the  "  poor  things ' 
unable  to  keep  up  with  the  grade.  She  had,  our 
resident  declared,  "  ideas '  about  them.  We 
sought  acquaintance  with  her,  and  we  felt  it  a 
privilege  to  learn  to  know  the  noble  enthusiasm 
of  this  young  woman  for  those  pupils  who,  to 
teachers,  must  always  seem  the  least  hopeful. 

The  Board  of  Education  permitted  her  to 
form  the  first  class  for  ungraded  pupils,  in 
School  Number  i,  in  1900,  and  the  settlement 
gladly  helped  develop  her  theory  of  separate 
classes  and  special  instruction  for  the  defec- 
tives, not  alone  for  their  sakes,  but  to  relieve 
the  normal  classes  which  their  presence  re- 



tarded.  We  provided  equipment  not  yet  on  the 
School  Board's  requisition  list,  obtained  permis- 
sion for  her  to  attend  children's  clinics,  secured 
treatment  for  the  children,  and,  finally,  and  not 
least  important,  made  every  effort  to  interest 

members  of  the  School 
Board  and  the  public 
generally  in  this  class  of 

The  plan  included  the 
provision  of  a  luncheon. 
For  this  we  purchased 
tables,  paper  napkins, 
and  dishes.  The  chil- 
dren brought  from  home 
bread  and  butter,  and  a 
penny  for  a  glass  of  milk,  and  an  alert  principal 
made  practical  the  cooking  lessons  given  to 
the  older  girls  in  the  school  by  having  them 
prepare  the  main  dish  of  the  pupils'  luncheon 
— incidentally  the  first  to  be  provided  in  the 
grade  schools.  Occasionally  the  approval  of 
the  families  would  be  expressed  in  extra  do- 
nations, and  in  the  beginning  this  sometimes 
took  the  form  of  a  bottle  of  beer.  Every  day 
one  pupil  was  permitted  to  invite  an  adult 
member  of  his  family  to  the  luncheon,  which  led 
naturally  to  an  exchange  of  visits  between 
members  of  the  family  and  the  teacher. 



Among  the  pupils  in  this  first  class  was  Tony, 
a  Neapolitan,  impossible  in  the  grade  class  be- 
cause of  emotional  outbursts  called  "  bad  tem- 
per/' and  an  incorrigible  truant.  When  defects 
of  vision  were  corrected  the  outbursts  became 
less  frequent,  and  manual  work  disclosed  a 
latent  power  of  application  and  stimulated  a 
willingness  to  attend 
school.  Tony  is  now  a 
bricklayer,  a  member  of 
the  union  in  good  stand- 
ing, and  last  spring  he 
and  his  father  bought  a 
house  in  Brooklyn. 

Another  was  Katie. 
Spinal  meningitis  when 
she  was  very  young  had 
left  her  with  imperfect 
mental  powers.  Care- 
ful examination  disclosed  impaired  control,  par- 
ticularly of  the  groups  of  smaller  muscles.  She 
has  never  learned  to  read,  but  has  developed 
skill  in  clay-modeling,  and  sews  and  embroiders 
very  well.  She  makes  her  clothes  and  is  a 
cheerful  helper  to  her  mother  in  the  work 
about  the  house.  Last  Christmas  she  sent  to 
the  school  warm  undergarments  which  she  had 
made,  to  be  given  to  the  children  who  needed 
them.  Her  intelligent  father  feels  that  but 


for  the  discriminating  instruction  in  the  un- 
graded class  her  powers  would  have  progres- 
sively deteriorated  and  Katie  "  would  be  in 

The  teacher  who  thus  first  fixed  our  attention 
upon  these  defective  children  has  long  been 
a  member  of  the  settlement  family.  She  has 
carried  us  with  her  in  her  zeal  for  them,  and 
we  have  come  to  see  that  it  is  because  the 
public  conscience  has  been  sluggish  that  means 
and  methods  have  not  been  more  speedily  de- 
vised toward  an  intelligent  solution  of  this 
serious  social  problem. 

From  the  small  beginnings  of  the  experi- 
mental class  in  Henry  Street  a  separate  depart- 
ment in  the  public  schools  was  created  in  1908, 
and  this  year  (1915)  there  are  3,000  children 
throughout  the  city  under  the  care  of  specially 
trained  teachers  who  have  liberty  to  adapt  the 
school  work  to  the  children's  peculiar  needs. 
All  these  ungraded  classes  are  under  the  direc- 
tion of  Miss  Farrell. 

Looking  back  upon  the  struggles  to  win  for- 
mal recognition  of  the  existence  of  these  chil- 
dren, who  now  so  much  engage  the  attention 
of  educators  and  scientists,  we  realize  that  our 
colleague's  devotion  to  them,  her  power  to  ex- 
cite enthusiasm  in  us,  and  her  understanding  of 
the  social  implications  of  their  existence,  came 


from  a  deep-lying  principle  that  every  human 
being,  even  the  least  lovely,  merits  respectful 
consideration  of  his  rights  and  his  personality. 

Much  is  required  of  the  public  school  teachers, 
and  many  of  them  rise  to  every  demand;  but 
naturally,  in  so  great  a  number,  there  are  some 
who  do  not  recognize  that  theirs  is  the  responsi- 
bility for  discovering  the  children  who  are  not 
normal.  Harry  sits  on  our  doorsteps  almost 
every  day,  ready  to  run  errands,  and  harmless 
as  yet.  Obviously  defective,  a  "  pronounced 
moron/'  he  was  promoted  from  class  to  class, 
and  when  one  of  his  settlement  friends  called 
upon  the  teacher  to  discuss  Harry's  special 
needs,  the  teacher,  somewhat  contemptuous  of 
our  anxiety,  observed  that  "  all  that  Harry 
needed  was  a  whipping." 

From  one-half  of  one  per  cent,  to  two  per 
cent,  of  children  of  school  age  are,  it  is  esti- 
mated, in  need  of  special  instruction  because  of 
the  quality  or  the  imperfect  functioning  of  their 
mental  powers.  The  public  school  has  the 
power,  and  should  exercise  it,  to  bring  within 
its  walls  all  the  children  physically  and  men- 
tally competent  to  attend  it.  If  children  are 
under  intelligent  observation,  departures  from 
the  normal  can  in  many  instances  be  recognized 
in  time  for  training  and  education  according  to 
the  particular  need.  Long-continued  observa- 


tion  and  record  of  the  child  are  essential  to  in- 
telligent treatment  of  abnormalities  concerning" 

which    there   is   even 
now    verv    little    ac- 


curate  information. 
Cumulative  experi- 
ence and  data,  such 
as  can  be  obtained 
only  through  the 
compulsory  attend- 
ance at  school  of  the 
multitudes  of  chil- 
dren of  this  type, 
will  finally  give  a 
basis  for  scientific 
and  humanitarian  ac- 
tion regarding  them. 
Up  to  a  certain  pe- 
riod the  child's  help- 
lessness demands 
that  every  oppor- 
tunity for  develop- 
ment be  2;iven  him, 

O  ' 

but  that  is  not  the  whole  of  society's  respon- 
sibility. The  time  comes  when  the  child's  own 
interests  and  those  of  the  community  demand 
the  wisest,  least  selfish,  and  most  statesman- 
like action.  Society  must  state  in  definite  terms 
its  right  to  be  protected  from  the  hopelessly 


defective  and  the  moral  pervert,  wherever 
found.  This  constitutes  the  real  problem  of 
the  abnormal.  At  the  adolescent  period  those 
unfit  for  parenthood  should  be  guarded — girls 
and  boys — and  society  should  be  vested  with 
authority  and  power  to  accomplish  segregation, 
the  conditions  of  which  should  attract  and  not 

Because  so  much  needs  to  be  said  upon  it,  if 
anything  is  said  at  all,  I  am  loath  to  touch 
upon  the  one  great  obstacle  to  the  effective 
use  of  all  the  intelligence  and  the  resources 
available  for  the  well-being  of  these  children, 
the  most  baffling  impediment  to  their  and  the 
community's  protection,  namely,  the  supreme 
authority  of  parenthood,  be  it  never  so  ineffi- 
cient, avaricious,  or  even  immoral. 

The  breaking  up  of  the  family  because  of 
poverty,  through  the  death  or  disappearance  of 
the  wage-earner,  was,  until  comparatively  re- 
cent years,  generally  accepted  as  inevitable. 

In  the  first  winter  of  our  residence  on  the 

East  Side  we  took  care  of  Mr.  S ,  who  was 

in  an  advanced  stage  of  phthisis;  and  we  daily 
admired  the  wonderful  ability  of  his  wife,  who 
kept  the  home  dignified  while  she  sewed  on 
wrappers,  nursed  her  husband,  and  allowed 


nothing  to  interfere  with  the  children's  daily  at- 
tendance at  school.  When  her  husband  died  it 
seemed  the  most  natural  thing  in  the  world 
to  help  her  to  realize  her  own  wishes  and  to 
approve  her  good  judgment  in  desiring  to  keep 
the  family  together.  The  orphan  asylum  would 
doubtless  have  taken  the  children  from  her,  leav- 
ing her  childless  as  well  as  widowed,  and  with 
no  counterbalancing  advantage  for  the  children 
to  lighten  her  double  woe.  A  large-minded 
lover  of  children,  who  gave  his  money  to 
orphans  as  well  as  to  orphanages,  readily  agreed 
to  give  the  mother  a  monthly  allowance  until 
the  eldest  son  could  legally  go  to  work.  It  was 
our  first  "  widow's  pension." 

Our  hopes  in  this  particular  case  have  been 
more  than  realized.  The  eldest  boy,  it  is  true, 
has  not  achieved  any  notable  place  in  the  com- 
munity; but  his  sisters  are  teachers  and  most 
desirable  elements  in  the  public  school  system 
of  the  city, — living  testimony  to  the  worth  of 
the  mother's  character. 

In  no  instance  where  we  have  prevented  the 
disintegration  of  the  family  because  of  poverty 
have  we  had  reason  to  regret  our  decision.  Of 
course,  the  ability  of  the  mother  to  maintain  a 
standard  in  the  home  and  control  the  children 
is  a  necessary  qualification  in  any  general  recom- 
mendation for  this  treatment  of  the  widow  and 



orphan,  and  competent  supervision  is  essential 
to  insure  the  maintenance  of  these  conditions. 

At  the  famous  White  House  Conference  on 
Children,  held  at  the  invitation  of  President 
Roosevelt,  there  was  practical  unanimity  on 
the  part  of  the  ex- 
perts who  gathered 
there  that  institutional 
life  was  undesirable 
and  that  wherever  pos- 
sible family  life  should 
be  maintained.  Testi- 
mony as  to  this  came 
from  many  sources; 
and  keeping  the  fam- 
ily together,  or  board- 
ing the  orphan  with  a  normal  family  when 
adoption  could  not  be  arranged,  became  the 
dominant  note  of  the  conference. 

The  children,  in  this  as  in  many  other  in- 
stances, led  us  into  searching  thought  many 
years  ago.  Forlorn  little  Joseph  had  called  upon 
me  with  a  crumpled  note  which  he  reluctantly 
dragged  from  a  pocket.  It  was  from  the  ad- 
mitting agent  of  an  orphanage,  explaining  that 
Joseph  could  not  be  taken  into  the  institution 
until  his  head  was  "cured";  and  it  gave  some 
details  regarding  the  family,  the  worthiness  of 
the  mother,  and  her  exceeding  poverty.  The 


agent  hoped  that  I  might  relieve  her  by  ex- 
pediting Joseph's  admission. 

I  tried  to  make  the  child's  daily  visit  to  me 
interesting.  The  treatment  was  not  painful,  but 
the  end  of  each  visit — he  came  with  patient  reg- 
ularity every  day — left  me  as  dolorous  as  him- 
self. One  day  I  tried,  by  promise  of  a  present 
or  of  any  treat  he  fancied,  to  bring  out  some 
expression  of  youthful  spirit — all  unavailingly. 
"  But  you  must  wish  for  something,"  I  urged; 
"  I  never  knew  a  boy  who  didn't."  For  the 
first  time  the  silent  little  lad  showed  enthusiasm. 
"  I  wish  you  wouldn't  cure  my  head,  so  I 
needn't  go  to  the  orphan  asylum." 

Unscrupulous  parents,  I  am  well  aware,  often 
try  to  shift  the  responsibility  for  their  children 
upon  public  institutions,  but  there  are  many 
who  share  Joseph's  aversion  to  the  institutional 
life,  and  we  early  recognized  that  the  dislike 
is  based  upon  a  sound  instinct  and  that  a  poor 
home  might  have  compensating  advantages 
compared  with  the  well-equipped  institution. 

There  have  been  great  changes  in  institutional 
methods  since  I  first  had  knowledge  of  them, 
and  much  ingenuity  has  been  shown  in  devising 
means  to  encourage  the  development  of  individ- 
uality and  initiative  among  the  orphans.  The 
cottage  plan  has  been  introduced  in  some  insti- 
tutions to  modify  the  abnormal  life  of  large 


congregations  of  children.  But  at  best  the  life 
is  artificial,  and  the  children  lose  inestimably 
through  not  having  day  by  day  the  experiences 
of  normal  existence.  Valuable  knowledge  is 
lost  because  the  child  does  not  learn  from  ex- 
perience the  connection  between  the  cost  of  ne- 
cessities and  the  labor  necessary  to  earn  them. 
It  was  somewhat  pathetic,  at  another  confer- 
ence on  child-saving,  to  hear  one  of  the  speakers 
explain  that  he  tried  to  meet  this  need  by  hav- 
ing the  examples  in  arithmetic  relate  to  the  cost 
of  food  and  household  expenditures. 

The  lack  of  a  normal  emotional  outlet  is  of 
consequence,  and  as  a  result  astute  physiog- 
nomists often  recognize  what  they  term  the 
"  institution  look."  Maggie,  an  intelligent  girl, 
who  has  since  given  abundant  evidence  of  spon- 
taneity and  spirit,  spent  a  short  time  in  an  ex- 
cellent orphanage.  She  told  me  the  other  day, 
and  wept  as  she  told  it,  that  she  had  met  no 
unkindness  there,  but  remembered  with  horror 
that  when  they  arose  in  the  morning  the  '  or- 
phans '  waited  to  be  told  what  to  do;  and 
that  feeling  was  upon  her  every  hour  of  the 
day.  In  fact,  Maggie  had  stirred  me  to  make 
arrangements  to  take  her  out  of  the  institution 
because,  when  I  brought  her  for  a  visit  to  the 
settlement,  she  stood  at  the  window  the  entire 
afternoon,  wistfully  watching  the  children  play 


in  our  back  yard,  and  not  joining  them  because 
no  one  had  told  her  that  she  might. 

One  is  reluctant  to  speak  only  of  the  disad- 
vantages of  institutional  life,  for  there  are 
many  children  rescued  from  unfortunate  family 
conditions  who  testify  to  the  good  care  they 
received,  and  who,  in  after  life,  look  back  upon 
the  orphanage  as  the  only  home  they  have 
known.  For  some  children,  doubtless,  such  care 
will  continue  to  be  necessary,  but  the  conserva- 
tive and  rigid  administration  can  be  softened, 
and  the  management  and  their  charges  delivered 
out  of  the  rut  into  which  they  have  fallen,  and 
from  the  tyranny  of  rules  and  customs  which 
have  no  better  warrant  than  that  they  have 
always  existed. 

Perhaps  these  illustrations  are  not  too  in- 
significant to  record.  Happening  to  pass 
through  a  room  in  an  asylum  when  the  dentist 
was  paying  his  monthly  visit,  I  saw  a  fine- 
looking  young  lad  about  to  have  a  sound  front 
tooth  extracted  because  he  complained  of  tooth- 
ache. No  provision  had  been  made  for  any- 
thing but  the  extraction  of  teeth.  An  offer  to 
have  the  boy  given  proper  treatment  outside 
the  institution  was  not  accepted,  but  it  needed 
no  more  than  this  to  insure  better  dentistry  in 
his  case  and  in  the  institution  in  future.  The 
reports  stated  that  corporal  punishment  was  not 


administered.  When  a  little  homesick  lad  dis- 
played his  hands,  swollen  from  paddling,  a  re- 
quest for  an  investigation,  and  that  I  be  privi- 
leged to  hear  the  inquiry,  put  a  stop,  and  I  am 
assured  a  permanent  one,  to  this  form  of  dis- 
cipline. These  are  the  more  obvious  disad- 
vantages of  institutional  life  for  the  child.  The 
more  subtle  and  dangerous  are  the  curbing  of 
initiative  and  the  belittling  of  personality. 

An  intelligent  observer  of  the  effects  of  insti- 
tution life  on  boys,  a  Roman  Catholic  priest, 
established  a  temporary  home  in  New  York  to 
which  they  could  come  on  their  release  from  the 
institution  until  they  found  employment  and 
suitable  places  to  board.  His  insight  was  shown 
by  his  provision  for  the  boys  during  their  brief 
sojourn  with  him  of  a  formal  table  service,  and 
weekly  dances  to  which  girls  whom  he  knew 
were  invited.  As  he  astutely  observed,  the  boys 
often  went  into  common  society,  or  society 
which  made  no  demands,  because,  from  their 
lack  of  experience,  they  felt  ill  at  ease  in  a  circle 
where  any  conventions  were  observed. 

Where  life  goes  by  rule  there  is  little  spon- 
taneous action  or  conversation,  but  the  chil- 
dren occasionally  give  clews  to  their  passion  for 
personal  relationships.  In  an  institution  which 
I  knew  the  children  were  allowed  to  write  once 
a  month  to  their  friends.  More  than  one  chile* 


without  family  ties  took  that  opportunity  to 
write  letters  to  an  imaginary  mother,  to  send 
messages  of  affection  to  imaginary  brothers  and 
sisters,  and  to  ask  for  personal  gifts.  They 
knew,  of  course,  that  the  letters  would  never 
leave  the  institution. 

An  unusual  instance  of  intense  longing  for 
family  life  and  the  desire  to  "  belong '  to  some- 
one was  given  by  Tillie,  who  had  lived  all  her 
life  in  an  orphan  asylum.  Sometimes  she 
dreamed  of  her  mother,  and  often  asked  where 
she  was.  When  she  was  ten  years  old  the  wife 
of  the  superintendent  told  her  that  her  mother 
had  brought  her  to  the  asylum,  but  that  all  she 
could  remember  about  her  was  that  she  had 
red  hair.  From  that  day  the  child's  desire  to 
re-establish  relations  with  her  mother  never 
flagged.  In  the  files  of  the  asylum  a  letter  was 
discovered  from  an  overseer  of  the  poor  in  an 
upstate  town,  saying  that  the  woman  had  wan- 
dered there.  At  Tillie's  urgent  request  he  was 
written  to  again,  and  after  a  search  on  his 
part  it  was  learned  that  she  had  been  declared 
insane  and  taken  to  the  hospital  at  Rochester. 
The  very  day  that  Tillie  was  released  from  the 
orphan  asylum  she  secured  money  for  the  trip 
and  went  to  Rochester.  The  officials  of  the  hos- 
pital received  her  kindly  and  took  her  into  the 
ward  where,  although  she  had  no  memory  of 


having  seen  her,  she  identified  her  mother — 
doubtless  by  the  color  of  her  hair.  The  mother, 
alas,  did  not  recognize  her.  Two  years  later 
the  girl  revisited  the  hospital  and  found  her 
mother  enjoying  an  interval  of  memory.  Tillie 
told  me  that  she  learned  '  two  important 
things  " — that  she  had  had  a  brother  and  my 
name.  How  I  was  connected  with  the  fortunes 
of  the  family  the  poor,  bewildered  woman  could 
not  explain,  and  I  have  no  recollection  of  her. 
Tillie  followed  these  clews,  as  she  has  every 
other.  She  has  learned  that  the  brother  was 
sent  West  with  orphans  from  an  Eastern  in- 
stitution, and  that  he  has  joined  the  army.  The 
devoted  girl  is  making  every  effort  to  estab- 
lish a  home  to  which  she  can  bring  the  mother 
and  brother,  utterly  regardless  of  the  burden 
it  will  place  on  her  young  shoulders. 

We  must  turn  to  the  younger  countries  for 
testimony  as  to  the  wisdom  of  the  non-institu- 
tional care  of  dependent  children.  In  Australia 
the  plan  for  many  years  in  all  the  provinces 
has  been  to  care  for  them  in  homes,  and  in 
Queensland  and  New  South  Wales  the  laws 
permit  the  children  to  be  boarded  out  to  their 
own  mothers.  It  is  encouraging  to  note  the 
increasing  number  of  responsible  people  in 
America  who  are  ready  to  adopt  children.  It 
may  not  be  possible  to  find  a  sufficient  number 


of  suitable  homes  to  provide  for  all  who 
are  dependent;  but  once  the  policy  of  decen- 
tralization is  established,  other  methods  will 
be  evolved  to  avoid  large  congregations  of  boys 
and  girls.  Two  of  my  colleagues  and  I  have 

found  much  happi- 
ness in  assuming  re- 
sponsibility for  eight 
children.  Quite  apart 
from  our  own  pleasure 
in  taking  to  ourselves 

these  '  nieces '  and 
'  nephews,"  we  be- 
lieve that  we  shall  be 
able  to  demonstrate 
convincingly  the  prac^ 
ticability  of  establish- 
ing small  groups  of 
children,  without  ties 
of  their  own,  as  a  fam- 
ily unit.  Our  children 
live  the  year  round  in 
our  country  home,  and  are  identified  with  the 
life  of  the  community;  and  we  hope  to  provide 
opportunity  for  the  development  of  their  indi- 
vidual tastes  and  aptitudes. 

Education  and  the  child  is  a  theme  of  widest 
social  significance.  To  the  age-old  appeal  that 
the  child's  dependence  makes  upon  the  affec- 

On  the  Farm. 


tions  has  been  added  a  conviction  of  the  neces- 
sity for  a  guarded  and  trained  childhood,  that 
better  men  and  women  may  be  developed.  It 
is  a  modern  note  in  patriotism  and  civic  re- 
sponsibility, which  impels  those  who  are 
brought  in  contact  with  the  children  of  the 
poor  to  protect  them  from  premature  burdens, 
to  prolong  their  childhood  and  the  period  of 
growth.  Biologists  bring  suggestive  and  illumi- 
nating analogies,  but  when  one  has  lived  many 
years  in  a  neighborhood  such  as  ours  the  chil- 
dren themselves  tell  the  story.  We  know  that 
physical  well-being  in  later  life  is  largely  de- 
pendent upon  early  care,  that  only  the  excep- 
tional boys  and  girls  can  escape  the  unwhole- 
some effects  of  premature  labor,  and  that  lack 
of  training  is  responsible  for  the  enormous  pro- 
portion of  unskilled  and  unemployable  among 
the  workers. 

The  stronghold  of  our  democracy  is  the  pub- 
lic school.  This  conviction  lies  deep  in  the 
hearts  of  those  social  enthusiasts  who  would 
keep  the  school  free  from  the  demoralization 
of  cant  and  impure  politics,  and  restore  it  to 
the  people,  a  shrine  for  education,  a  center  for 
public  uses. 

The  young  members  of  the  settlement  clubs 
hear  this  doctrine  preached  not  infrequently. 
Last  June  the  City  Superintendent,  addressing 


a  class  graduating  from  the  normal  school, 
made  an  appeal  for  idealism  in  their  work.  He 
spoke  of  the  possibilities  in  their  profession  for 
far-reaching  social  service,  and  named  as  one 
who  exemplified  his  theme  the  principal  of 
a  great  city  school,  once  one  of  our  settlement 

' '         ~mm'  "  ~  '     """     'J'~  "'""•-fr    i     — ^-^ 


BESSIE  has  had  eight  "  jobs J  in  six  months. 
Obviously  under  sixteen,  she  has  had  to  pro- 
duce her  "  working  papers '  before  she  could 
be  taken  on.  The  fact  that  she  has  met  the 
requirements  necessary  to  obtain  the  papers, 
and  that  her  employer  has  demanded  them,  is 
evidence  of  the  advance  made  in  New  York 
State  since  we  first  became  acquainted  with  the 
children  of  the  poor.  Bessie  has  had  to  prove 
by  birth  certificate  or  other  documentary  evi- 
dence that  she  is  really  fourteen,  has  had  to 
submit  to  a  simple  test  in  English  and  arith- 
metic, present  proof  of  at  least  130  days'  school 
attendance  in  the  year  before  leaving,  and, 
after  examination  by  a  medical  officer,  has  had 
to  be  declared  physically  fit  to  enter  shop  or 

No  longer  could  Annie,  the  cobbler's  daugh- 
ter, by  unchallenged  perjury  obtain  the  state 
sanction  to  her  premature  employment.  Gone 
are  the  easy  days  when  Francesca's  father,  de- 
fying school  mandates,  openly  offered  his  little 


ones  in  the  labor  market.  Yet  we  are  far  from 
satisfied.  Bessie,  though  she  meets  the  require- 
ments of  the  law,  goes  out  wholly  unprepared 
for  self-support;  she  is  of  no  industrial  value, 
and  is  easily  demoralized  by  the  conviction  of 
her  unimportance  to  her  "  boss,"  certain  that 
her  casual  employment  and  dismissal  have 
hardly  been  noted,  save  as  she  herself  has  been 
affected  by  the  pay  envelope.  Her  industrial 
experience  is  no  surprise  to  her  settlement 
friends,  for  she  is  a  type  of  the  boys  and  girls 
who,  twice  a  year,  swarm  out  of  the  school  and 
find  their  way  to  the  Department  of  Health 
to  obtain  working  papers.  Bessie's  father  is  a 
phthisis  case;  her  mother,  the  chief  wage-earner, 
an  example  of  devotion  and  industry.  The 
girl  has  been  a  fairly  good  student  and  dutiful 
in  the  home,  where  for  several  years  she  has 
scrubbed  the  floors  and  "  looked  after '  the  chil- 
dren in  her  mother's  absence. 

Tommy  also  appeared  at  the  office  with  his 
credentials  and  successfully  passed  all  the  tests, 
until  the  scale  showed  him  suspiciously  weighty 
for  his  appearance.  Inquiry  as  to  what  bulged 
one  of  his  pockets  disclosed  the  fact  that  he 
had  a  piece  of  lead  there.  He  had  been  told 
that  he  probably  would  not  weigh  enough  to 
pass  the  doctor.  Talking  the  matter  over  with 
Mrs.  Sanderson,  I  learned  that  the  immediate 


reason  for  taking  Tommy  out  of  school  was 
his  need  of  a  pair  of  shoes.  The  mother  was 
not  insensitive  to  his  pinched  appearance.  A 
few  days  later  Tommy  was  taken  to  visit  our 
children  at  the  farm,  and  it  was  pleasant  to 
see  that  the  natural  boy  had  not  been  crushed. 
He  devoured  the  most  juvenile  story-books  and 
was  "  crazy '  about  the  sledding.  The  self- 
respecting  mother  was  not  injured  in  her  pride 
of  independence  by  a  little  necessary  aid  care- 
fully given;  and  though  I  have  not  seen  Tommy 
recently,  I  am  sure  that  neither  he  nor  his  em- 
ployer lost  anything  because  of  the  better  physi- 
cal condition  in  which  he  entered  work  after 
his  happy  winter  at  the  farm. 

This  attempt  to  cheat  the  law  by  the  very 
children  for  whose  protection  it  was  designed, 
and  the  occasional  disregard  of  the  purposes  of 
the  enactments  by  enforcing  officials,  suggest 
Alice's  perplexity  when  she  encountered  the 
topsy-turvy  Wonderland. 

It  was  about  twelve  years  ago  that  a  group 
of  settlement  people  in  New  York  gathered  to 
consider  the  advisability  of  organizing  public 
sentiment  against  the  exploitation  of  child 
workers.  The  New  York  Child  Labor  Com- 
mittee thereupon  came  into  existence,  under 
the  chairmanship  of  the  then  head  of  the  Uni- 
versity Settlement,  and  that  committee  has 


since  been  steadily  engaged  in  advancing  stand- 
ards of  conditions  under  which  children  may 
work.  Through  legislative  enactment  and  pub- 
licity it  has  endeavored  to  form  public  opinion 
on  those  socially  constructive  principles  inher- 
ent in  the  conservation  of  children. 

Of  necessity  child  labor  laws  approach  the 
problem  from  the  negative  side  of  prohibition. 
To  meet  the  problem  positively,  the  Henry 
Street  Settlement  established  in  1908  a  definite 
system  of  "  scholarships '  for  children  from 
fourteen  to  sixteen,  to  give  training  during  what 
have  been  termed  the  "  two  wasted  years  '  to  as 
many  as  its  funds  permitted. 

A  committee  of  administration  receives  the 
applications  which  come  from  all  parts  of  the 
boroughs  of  Manhattan  and  the  Bronx,  and 
preference  is  given  to  those  children  of  widows 
or  disabled  fathers  whose  need  seems  greatest. 
Careful  inquiry  is  made  by  the  capable  secre- 
tary to  discover  natural  inclinations  or  apti- 
tudes, and  these  are  used  as  guides  in  deter- 
mining the  character  of  the  instruction  to  be 
given.  Three  dollars  a  week — somewhat  less 
than  the  sum  the  children  might  have  been 
earning — is  given  weekly  for  two  years,  dur- 
ing which  time  they  are  under  continual  super- 
vision at  home,  at  school,  and  through  regular 
visits  to  the  settlement.  They  are  looked  after 


physically,  provided  with  occasional  recreation, 
and,  in  the  summer  time,  whenever  possible,  a 
vacation  in  the  country.  The  committee  keeps 
in  close  touch  with  the  educational  agencies 
throughout  the  city,  gathers  knowledge  of  the 
trades  that  give  opportunity  for  advancement, 
and,  to  aid  teachers,  settlement  workers,  par- 
ents, and  children,  publishes  from  time  to  time 
a  directory  of  vocational  resources  in  the 

Approval  of  this  endowment  for  future  effi- 
ciency comes  from  many  sources,  but  no  en- 
couragement has  been  greater  than  the  fact 
that,  while  the  plan  was  still  in  its  experimental 
stage,  my  own  first  boys'  club,  the  members  of 
which  had  now  grown  to  manhood,  celebrated 
their  fifteenth  anniversary  by  contributing 
three  scholarships;  and  that  the  Women's 
Club,  whose  members  feel  most  painfully  the 
disadvantage  of  the  small  wage  of  the  unskilled, 
have  given  from  their  club  treasury  or  by 
voluntary  assessment  for  this  help  to  the  boys 
and  girls. 

The    children    who    show    talent    and    those 

1  Because  of  economic  conditions  in  New  York  during  the 
winter  of  1915  and  the  compulsory  idleness  of  many  unskilled  work- 
ers, the  Scholarship  Committee  of  the  Henry  Street  Settlement, 
among  other  efforts  for  relief,  rented  a  loft  in  a  building  near  a 
trade  school,  and  thus  made  it  possible  for  160  untrained  girls  to 
receive  technical  instruction,  the  Board  of  Education  providing 
teachers  and  equipment. — THE  AUTHOR. 


whose  immaturity  or  poverty  of  intellect  makes 
their  early  venture  into  the  world  more 
pitiful,  have  equal  claim  upon  these  scholar- 

Pippa  was  one  of  the  latter.  She  was  scorned 
at  home  for  obvious  slowness  of  wit  and  '  bad 
eyes";  her  mother  deplored  the  fact  that  there 
was  nothing  for  her  to  do  but  "  getta  mar- 
ried/3 Pippa's  club  leader's  reports  were  equally 
discouraging,  save  for  the  fact  that  she  had 
shown  some  dexterity  in  the  sewing  class.  At 
the  time  when  she  would  have  begun  her  patrol 
of  the  streets,  looking  for  signs  of  "  Girls 
Wanted,"  the  offer  of  a  scholarship  prevailed 
with  the  mother,  and  she  was  given  one  year's 
further  education  in  a  trade  school.  After  a 
conference  between  the  teachers  and  her  set- 
tlement friends,  sample-mounting  was  decided 
upon  as  best  suited  to  Pippa's  capacities.  She 
has  done  well  with  the  training,  and  is  now 
looked  up  to  as  the  one  wage-earner  in  the 
family  who  is  regularly  employed. 

One  of  the  accompanying  charts  compares 
the  wage-earning  capacity  of  the  boys  and  girls 
who  have  had  the  advantage  of  these  scholar- 
ships with  that  of  an  equal  number  of  un- 
trained young  people  whose  careers  are  known 
through  their  industrial  placement  by  perhaps 
the  most  careful  juvenile  employment  agency 






















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in  the  city.1  The  deductions  that  we  made  from 
the  experience  of  the  Henry  Street  children 
were  corroborated  by  an  inquiry  made  by  one 
of  our  residents  into  the  industrial  history  of 
one  thousand  children  who  had  applied  for 
working  papers  at  the  Department  of  Health. 
The  employment-record  chart  was  compiled 
from  data  obtained  in  that  inquiry. 

Our  connections  in  the  city  enable  us  occa- 
sionally to  coax  opportunities  for  those  boys 
and  girls  for  whom  experience  in  the  shop  itself 
would  seem  best.  Jimmy  had  lost  a  leg  "  hook- 
ing on  the  truck,"  and  his  mother  supposed  that 
"  such  things  happen  when  you  have  to  lock 
them  out  all  day.'3  In  the  whittling  class  the 
lad  showed  dexterity  with  the  sloyd  knife,  and 
he  was  thereupon  given  special  privileges  in  the 
carpentry  and  carving  classes  of  the  settlement. 
When  he  reached  working  age,  one  of  our 
friends,  a  distinguished  patron  of  a  high-grade 

That  the  ephemeral  character  of  work  available  for  children  of 
fourteen  to  sixteen  years  of  age  is  not  peculiar  to  New  York  City  is 
shown  by  the  following  figures  from  the  report  of  the  Maryland  Bu- 
reau of  Statistics  for  the  year  1914.  In  Maryland,  working  papers 
are  issued  for  each  separate  employment.  The  number  of  original 
applications  in  one  year  was  3,580  and  the  total  of  subsequent  applica- 
tions, 4,437.  Of  the  3,580  children  2,006  came  back  a  second 
time,  1,036  a  third  time,  561  a  fourth,  363,  a  fifth,  194  a  sixth, 
116  a  seventh,  53  an  eighth,  29  a  ninth,  18  a  tenth,  and  one  child 
came  back  for  the  eighteenth  time  in  a  twelvemonth,  for  working 
papers.  Many  of  the  children  told  stories  of  long  periods  of  idle- 
ness between  employments. — THE  AUTHOR. 


decorator,  induced  the  latter  to  give  the  boy 
a  chance.  Misgivings  as  to  the  permanency  of 
his  tenure  of  the  place  were  allayed  when 
Jimmy,  aglow  with  enthusiasm  over  his  work, 
brought  a  beautifully  carved  mahogany  box  and 
told  of  the  help  the  skilled  men  in  the  shop 
were  giving  him.  On  the  whole,  he  concluded, 




3  DAYS 






















TRIM,  Cur,  &  EXAMINE 







The  Typical  Employment  Record  of  One  Child  between  the  Ages 

of  14  and  16. 

"  a  fellow  with  one  leg '  had  advantages  over 
other  cabinetmakers;  "he  could  get  into  so 
many  more  tight  places  and  corners  than  with 

Bessie  and  Jimmy  and  Pippa  and  Esther  and 
their  little  comrades  stir  us  to  contribute  our 
human  documents  to  the  propaganda  instituted 
in  behalf  of  children.  In  this,  as  in  other  ex- 
periments at  the  settlement,  we  do  not  believe 


that  what  we  offer  is  of  great  consequence  un- 
less the  demonstrations  we  make  and  the  expe- 
rience we  gain  are  applicable  to  the  problems 
of  the  community.  On  no  other  single  interest 
do  the  members  of  our  settlement  meet  with 
such  unanimity.  Years  of  concern  about  indi- 
vidual children  might  in  any  case  have  brought 
this  about,  but  irresistible  has  been  the  influ- 
ence exercised  by  Mrs.  Florence  Kelley,  now 
and  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  settlement 
family.  She  has  long  consecrated  her  energies 
to  securing  protective  legislation  throughout 
the  country  for  children  compelled  to  labor  and, 
with  the  late  Edgar  Gardner  Murphy,  of  Ala- 
bama, suggested  the  creation  of  the  National 
Child  Labor  Committee.  In  its  ten  years'  exist- 
ence it  has  affected  legislation  in  forty-seven 
states,  which  have  enacted  new  or  improved 
child  labor  laws.  On  this  and  on  the  New 
York  State  Committee  Mrs.  Kelley  and  I  have 
served  since  their  creation. 

Though  much  has  been  accomplished  during 
this  decade,  the  field  is  immensely  larger  than 
was  supposed,  and  forces  inimical  to  reform,  not 
reckoned  with  at  first,  have  been  encountered. 
Despite  this  opposition,  however,  we  believe 
that  the  abolition  of  child  labor  abuses  in 
America  is  not  very  far  off. 

In    Pennsylvania,    within   a   very   few   years, 


insistence  upon  satisfactory  proof  of  age  was 
strenuously  opposed.  Officials  who  should  have 
been  working  in  harmony  with  the  committee 
persisted  in  declaring  that  the  parent's  affi- 
davit, long  before  discarded  in  New  York 
State,  was  sufficient  evidence,  despite  the  fact 
that  coroners'  inquests  after  mine  disasters 
showed  child  workers  of  ten  and  eleven  years. 
The  Southern  mill  children,  the  little  cranberry- 
bog  workers,  the  oyster  shuckers,  and  the  boys 
in  glass  factories  and  mines  have  shown  that 
this  disregard  of  children  is  not  peculiar  to 
any  one  section  of  the  country,  though  South- 
ern states  have  been  most  tenacious  of  the 
exemption  of  children  of  "  dependent  parents  ' 
or  "  orphans '  from  working-paper  require- 

In  the  archives  at  Washington  much  inter- 
esting evidence  lies  buried  in  the  unpublished 
portions  of  reports  of  the  federal  investigation 
into  the  work  of  women  and  children.  The 
need  of  this  investigation  was  originally  urged 
by  settlement  people.  One  mill  owner  greeted 
the  government  inspectors  most  cordially  and, 
to  show  his  patriotism,  ordered  the  flag  to  be 
raised  above  the  works.  The  raising  of  the 
flag,  as  it  afterwards  transpired,  was  a  signal  to 
the  children  employed  in  the  mill  to  go  home. 
In  the  early  days  of  child  labor  reform  in  New 


York  the  children  on  Henry  Street  would 
sometimes  relate  vividly  their  experience  of 
being  suddenly  whisked  out  of  sight  when  the 
approach  of  the  factory  inspector  was  signaled. 

It  is  perhaps  unnecessary  to  mention  the 
obvious  fact  that  the  child  worker  is  in  com- 
petition with  the  adult  and  drags  down  his 
wages.  At  the  Child  Labor  Conference  held  in 
Washington  in  January,  1915,  a  manufacturer 
in  the  textile  industry  cited  the  wages  paid  to 
adults  in  certain  operations  in  the  mills  as 
fourteen  cents  per  hour  where  there  were  pro- 
hibitive child  labor  laws  and  eleven  cents  an 
hour  where  there  were  none. 

The  National  Child  Labor  Committee  now 
asks  Congress  through  a  federal  bill  to  out- 
law interstate  traffic  in  goods  produced  by  the 
labor  of  children.  Such  a  law  would  protect 
the  public-spirited  employer  who  is  now  obliged 
to  compete  in  the  market  with  men  whose  busi- 
ness methods  he  condemns. 

Sammie  and  his  brother  sold  papers  in  front 
of  one  of  the  large  hotels  every  night.  The 
more  they  shivered  with  cold,  the  greater  the 
harvest  of  pennies.  No  wonder  that  the  white- 
faced  little  boy  stayed  out  long  after  his  cold 
had  become  serious.  He  himself  asked  for  ad 



mission  to  the  hospital,  and  died  there  before 
his  absence  was  noted.  After  his  death  rela- 
tives appeared,  willing  to  aid  according  to  their 
small  means,  and  the  relief  society  increased 
its  stipend  to  his  family.  At  any  time  during 
his  life  this  aid  might  have  been  forthcoming, 
had  not  the  public  un- 
thinkingly made  his 
sacrifice  possible  by 
the  purchase  of  his 

Opposition  to  regu- 
lating and  limiting  the 
sale  of  papers  by  lit- 
tle boys  on  the  streets 
is  hard  to  overcome. 
A  juvenile  literature 
of  more  than  thirty 
years  ago  glorified  the 
newsboy  and  his  improbable  financial  and  so- 
cial achievements,  and  interest  in  him  was 
heightened  by  a  series  of  pictures  by  a  popu- 
lar painter,  wherein  ragged  youngsters  of  an 
extraordinary  cleanliness  of  face  were  por- 
trayed as  newsboys  and  bootblacks.  In  oppo- 
sition to  the  charm  of  this  presentation,  the 
practical  reformer  offers  the  photographs,  taken 
at  midnight,  of  tiny  lads  asleep  on  gratings  in 
front  of  newspaper  offices,  waiting  for  the  early 


editions.  He  finds  in  street  work  the  most 
fruitful  source  of  juvenile  delinquency,  with 
newsboys  heading  the  list. 

I  am  aware  that  at  this  point  numerous 
readers  will  recall  instances  of  remarkable 
achievements  by  the  barefoot  boy,  the  wide- 
awake young  news-seller.  We  too  have  known 
the  exceptional  lad  who  has  accomplished  mar- 
vels in  the  teeth  of,  sometimes  because  of,  great 
disadvantages;  but  after  twenty  years  I,  for 
one,  have  no  illusions  as  to  the  outcome  for  the 
ordinary  child. 

When  the  New  York  Child  Labor  Commit- 
tee secured  the  enactment  of  a  law  making  it 
mandatory  for  the  schoolboy  who  desired  to 
sell  papers  to  obtain  the  consent  of  his  parents 
before  receiving  the  permissive  badge  from  the 
district  school  superintendent,  we  sent  a  visitor 
from  the  settlement  to  the  families  of  one  hun- 
dred who  had  expressed  their  intention  to  se- 
cure the  badge.  Of  these  families  over  sixty 
were  opposed  to  the  child's  selling  papers  on  the 
street.  The  boy  wanted  to  "  because  the  other 
fellows  did/'  and  the  parents  based  their  objec- 
tions, in  most  cases,  on  precisely  those  grounds 
urged  by  social  workers, — namely,  that  street 
work  led  the  boys  into  bad  company,  irregular 
hours,  gambling,  and  "  waste  of  shoe  leather." 
Some  asserted  that  they  received  no  money 


from  the  children  from  the  sale  of  the  papers. 
On  the  other  hand,  a  committee  of  which  I 
was  chairman,  which  made  city-wide  inquiry 
into  juvenile  street  work,  found  instances  of 
well-to-do  parents  who  sent  their  little  children 
on  the  streets  to  sell  papers,  sometimes  in  vio- 
lation of  the  law. 

The  three  chief  obstacles  to  progress  in  pro- 
tection of  the  children  are  the  material  inter- 
ests of  the  employers,  many  of  whom  still 
believe  that  the  child  is  a  necessary  instrument 
of  profit;  a  sentimental,  unanalytical  feeling  of 
kindness  to  the  poor;  and  the  attitude  of  offi- 
cials upon  whom  the  enforcement  of  the  law 
depends,  but  who  are  often  tempted  by  appeals 
to  thwart  its  humane  purpose.  A  truant  officer 
of  my  acquaintance  took  upon  himself  discre- 
tionary power  to  condone  the  absence  of  a 
little  child  from  school  on  the  ground  that  the 
child  was  employed  and  the  widowed  mother 
poor.  Himself  a  tender  father,  cherishing  his 
small  son,  I  asked  him  if  that  was  what  he 
would  have  me  do  in  case  he  died  and  I  found 
his  child  at  work.  Oddly  enough,  he  seemed 
then  to  realize  for  the  first  time  that  those  who 
were  battling  for  school  attendance  for  the 
children  of  the  poor  and  prevention  of  their 
premature  employment,  even  though  the  widow 
and  child  might  have  to  receive  financial  aid, 


were  trying  to  take,  in  part,  the  place  of  the 
dead  father. 

To  meet  cases  where  enforcement  of  the  new 
standards  of  the  law  involves  undeniable  hard- 
ship, another  form  of  so-called  "  scholarship  ' 
is  given  by  the  New  York  Child  Labor  Com- 
mittee. Upon  investigation  a  sum  approximat- 
ing the  possible  earnings  of  the  child  is  fur- 
nished until  such  time  as  he  or  she  can  legally 
go  to  work.  An  indirect  but  important  result 
of  the  giving  of  these  scholarships  has  been 
the  continuous  information  obtained  regarding 
enforcement  of  the  school  attendance  law.  In- 
quiry into  the  history  of  candidates  disclosed, 
at  first,  many  cases  in  which,  although  the 
family  had  been  in  New  York  for  years, 
some  of  the  children  had  never  attended 
school,  and  perhaps  never  would  have  done 
so  had  they  not  been  discovered  at  work 
illegally.  The  number  of  these  cases  is  now 

Allusion  to  these  two  forms  of  "  scholar- 
ships '  should  not  be  made  without  mention  of 
one  other  in  the  settlement,  known  as  the  "  Alva 
Scholarship."  The  interest  on  the  endowment 
is  used  to  promote  the  training  of  gifted  indi- 
viduals and  to  commemorate  a  beloved  club 
leader.  The  money  to  establish  it  was  given 


by  the  young  woman's  associates  in  the  settle- 
ment, and  small  sums  have  been  contributed 
to  it  by  the  girls  who  were  members  of  her 
own  and  other  clubs. 


FEW  people  have  any  idea  of  the  extent  of 
tenement-house  manufactures.  There  are  at 
present  over  thirteen  thousand  houses  in 
Greater  New  York  alone  licensed  for  this  pur- 
pose, and  each  license  may  cover  from  one  to 
forty  families.  These  figures  give  no  complete 
idea  of  the  work  done  in  tenements.  Much  of 
it  is  carried  on  in  unlicensed  houses,  and  work 
not  yet  listed  as  forbidden  is  carried  home.  To 
supervise  this  immense  field  eight  inspectors 
only  were  assigned  in  1913.  Changing  fashions 
in  dress  and  the  character  of  certain  of  the  sea- 
sonal trades  make  it  very  difficult  for  the  De- 
partment of  Labor  to  adjust  the  license  list. 
This  explains,  to  some  extent,  the  lack  of 
knowledge  concerning  home  work  on  the  part 
of  officials,  even  when  the  Department  of  Labor 
is  efficiently  administered.  Nevertheless,  home 
work  has  greatly  decreased. 

Twenty  years  ago,  when  we  went  from  house 
to  house  caring  for  the  sick,  manufacturing  was 

carried   on   in   the   tenements   on   a   scale   that 



does  not  exist  to-day.  With  no  little  consterna- 
tion we  saw  toys  and  infants'  clothing-,  and 
sometimes  food  itself,  made  under  conditions 
that  would  not  have  been  tolerated  in  factories, 
even  at  that  time.  And  the  connection  of  re- 
mote communities  and  individuals  with  the 
East  Side  of  New  York  was  impressed  upon 
us  when  we  saw  a  roomful  of  children's  clothing 
shipped  to  the  Southern  trade  from  a  tenement 
where  there  were  sixteen  cases  of  measles. 
One  of  our  patients,  in  an  advanced  stage  of 
tuberculosis,  until  our  appearance  on  the  scene, 
sat  coughing  in  her  bed,  making  cigarettes  and 
moistening  the  paper  with  her  lips.  In  another 
tenement  in  a  nearby  street  we  found  children 
ill  with  scarlet  fever.  The  parents  worked  as 
finishers  of  women's  cloaks  of  good  quality,  evi- 
dently meant  to  be  worn  by  the  well-to-do. 
The  garments  covered  the  little  patients,  and 
the  bed  on  which  they  lay  was  practically  used 
as  a  work-table.  The  possibility  of  infection  is 
perhaps  the  most  obvious  disadvantage  of  home 
work,  and  great  changes  have  been  wrought 
since  the  days  when  we  first  knew  the  sweat- 
shop; but  we  are  here  discussing  only  its  con- 
nection with  the  children. 

When  work  is  carried  on  in  the  home  all  the 
members  of  the  family  can  be  and  are  utilized 
without  regard  to  age  or  the  restrictions  of  the 


factory  laws.  One  Thanksgiving  Day  I  carried 
an  offering  from  prosperous  children  of  my 
acquaintance  to  a  little  child  on  Water  Street 
whose  absence  from  the  kindergarten  had  been 


reported  on  account  of  illness.  He  had 
chicken-pox,  and  I  found  him,  with  flushed  face, 
sitting  on  a  little  stool,  working  on  knee  pants 
with  other  members  of  the  family.  They  in- 
terrupted their  industry  long  enough  to  drag 
the  concertina  from  under  the  bed  and  to  join 
in  singing  Italian  songs  for  my  entertainment, 


but  the  father  shrugged  his  shoulders  in  dis- 
sent from  my  protest  against  the  continuance 
of  the  work. 

Examination  of  the  school  attendance  of  chil- 
dren who  do  home  work  bears  testimony  to  its 
relation  to  truancy.  Josephine,  eleven  years 
of  age,  stays  out  of  school  to  work  on  finishing; 
Francesca,  aged  twelve,  to  sew  buttons  on 
coats;  Santa,  nine  years  old,  to  pick  out  nut 
meats;  Catherine,  eight  years  old,  sews  on 
tags;  Tiffy,  another  eight-year-old,  helps  her 
mother  finish;  Giuseppe,  aged  ten,  is  a  deft 
worker  on  artificial  flowers. 

It  is  painful  to  recall  the  R family,  who 

lived  in  a  basement,  all  of  the  children  engaged 
in  making  paper  bags  which  the  mother  sold 
to  the  small  dealers.  Something,  we  know  not 
what,  impelled  one  of  the  five  children  to  come 
for  help  to  the  nurse  in  the  First  Aid  Room 
at  the  settlement.  His  head  showed  evidence 
of  neglect,  and  when  our  nurse  inquired  of 
him  how  it  had  escaped  the  school  medical 
inspection,  the  fact  was  disclosed  that  he  had 
never  been  in  school.  Immediate  inquiry  on 
our  part  revealed  the  basement  sweatshop  and 
the  fact  that  none  of  the  children,  all  of  whom 
had  been  born  in  America,  had  ever  been  to 
school.  When  the  mother  was  questioned,  she 
answered  that  she  did  not  like  to  ask  for  more 


aid  than  she  was  already  receiving  from  the 
relief  society,  and  when  we  reproved  the  other 
children  in  the  tenement  for  not  having  drawn 
our  attention  to  their  little  neighbors,  they  an- 
swered that  they  themselves  had  not  known 

of  the  existence  of  the  R children  because 

"  they  never  came  out  to  play."  The  stupidity 
of  the  mother  and  the  circumstances  of  the 
family  have  continually  tested  the  endurance 
of  their  well-meaning  friends;  nevertheless,  at 
this  writing  the  eldest  boy  is  in  high  school 
and  supporting  himself  by  work  outside  school 
hours  at  a  subway  news-stand. 

What  I  have  written  thus  far  has  been  in 
large  measure  confined  to  the  lower  East  Side 
of  New  York;  but  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  remind 
the  reader  that  through  the  nursing  service  and 
other  organized  work  our  contact  with  the 
tenement  home  workers  extends  over  the  two 
boroughs  of  Manhattan  and  the  Bronx.  The 
settlement  has  never  made  a  scientific  study 
of  work  done  in  the  homes,  but  our  informa- 
tion regarding  it  is  continuous  and  current. 
This  cumulative  knowledge  is  probably  the 
more  valuable  because  it  is  obtained  inciden- 
tally and  naturally,  and  not  as  the  result  of  a 
special  investigation,  which,  however  fair  and 
impartial,  must  be  somewhat  affected  by  the 
consciousness  of  its  purpose. 


In  1899  a  law  was  passed  in  New  York  State 
licensing  individual  workers  in  the  tenements 
for  certain  trades.  In  1904  this  law  was  super- 
seded, primarily  at  the  instigation  of  the  settle- 
ment, by  one  licensing  the  entire  tenement 
house,  thus  making  the  owner  of  the  house  re- 
sponsible. In  1913  a  law  recommended  by  the 
New  York  State  Factory  Investigating  Com- 
mission was  passed  by  the  legislature;  this  law 
brought  under  its  jurisdiction  all  articles  manu- 
factured in  the  tenements,  prohibited  entirely 
the  home  manufacture  of  food  articles,  dolls  or 
dolls'  clothing,  children's  or  infants'  wearing 
apparel,  and  forbade  the  employment  of  chil- 
dren under  fourteen  on  any  articles  made  in 

All  our  experience  points  to  the  conclusion 
that  it  is  impossible  to  control  manufacture  in 
the  tenements.  Restrictive  legislation  (such  as 
the  law  forbidding  the  employment  of  children 
under  fourteen)  is  practically  impossible  of  en- 
forcement, for  it  is  a  delusion  to  suppose  that 
any  human  agency  can  find  out  what  manufac- 
tures are  going  on  in  tenement-house  homes. 
The  inspectors  become  known  in  the  various 
neighborhoods;  and  at  their  approach  the  word 
is  passed  along,  and  garments  on  which  women 
are  working  may  be  hidden,  or  the  work  taken 
from  children's  hands.  The  more  painstaking 


and  conscientious  the  attempts  at  enforcement, 
the  more  secretive  the  workers  become,  and 
one  is  forced  to  the  conclusion  that  the  only 
practical  remedy  is  to  prohibit  this  parasitic 
form  of  industry  outright.  More  of  the  men 
in  these  families  would  go  to  work  if  it  were 
not  so  easy  to  employ  the  women  and  chil- 
dren; and  many  of  the  women  would  be  able 
to  work  regular  hours  in  establishments  suit- 
ably constructed  for  manufacturing  purposes 
and  under  state  inspection  and  supervision. 
During  the  period  of  transition,  suffering  will 
doubtless  come  to  some  families  whose  poor 
living  has  been  maintained  by  this  form  of 
industry,  and  relief  measures  must  carry  them 
over  the  time  of  adjustment.  Most  families 
working  at  home  are  already  receiving  aid  from 
societies,  which  thus  indirectly  help  to  support 
the  parasitic  trade. 

In  1913,  4i,507  children  of  Greater  New  York 
secured  working  papers.  But  the  record  for 
1914  shows  a  decrease  of  about  10,000  in  the 
applications  for  papers,  and  consequently  so 
many  more  children  in  school,  because  of  the 
amended  statute  which  raised  the  minimum  edu- 
cational requirement.  A  public  sentiment  which 
keeps  boys  and  girls  longer  in  school  empha- 



sizes  the  need  of  more  educational  facilities 
adapted  to  industrial  pursuits.  The  children 
least  promising  in  book  studies  may  often  be- 
come adepts  in  manual  work,  and  respond 
readily  to  instruction  that  calls  for  exercise  of 
the  motor  energies.  The  armies  of  children 

who  go  to  work  immature,  unprepared,  unedu- 
cated in  essentials,  with  no  more  than  a  super- 
ficial precocity,  are  likely  to  be  thrown  upon 
the  scrap-heap  of  the  unskilled  early  in  life, 
and  yet  many  of  these  have  potentialities  of 
skill  and  efficiency. 

It  is  not  surprising  that  with  increasing 
knowledge  of  the  children's  condition  plans  for 
their  guidance,  training,  and  reasonable  em- 
ployment should  have  made  advance  in  the  last 


decade.  The  settlement  is  now  interested  in 
promoting  an  inquiry  for  New  York  City  that 
should  lead  to  the  establishment  of  a  juvenile 
bureau  intended  to  combine  vocational  guidance 
and  industrial  supervision, — a  bureau  asso- 
ciated with  an  educational  system  and  disso- 
ciated from  the  free  employment  exchanges 
which  as  yet  do  not  inquire  into  the  character 
of  employment  offered. 

One  outcome  of  this  inquiry  has  been  the  for- 
mation of  a  society  of  employers  designed  to 
bring  about  scientific  consideration  of  the 
present  misemployment  of  children  and  adults, 
underemployment,  and  other  wastes  of  in- 

We  believe  that  continuation  schools  are  nec- 
essary for  all  boys  and  girls  engaged  in  shop 
or  factory  work,  and  that  expert  vocational 
guidance  and  educational  direction  should  be 
offered  those  who  leave  school  to  become  wage- 
earners.  It  is  inevitable  that  to  people  at  all 
socially  minded  close  contact  with  many  chil- 
dren should  exercise  the  humanities.  The  stress 
that  we  lay  on  the  enforcement  of  these  pro- 
tective measures  comes  from  a  conviction  that 
the  children  of  the  poor,  more  than  all  others, 
need  to  be  prepared  for  the  responsibilities  of 
life  that  so  soon  come  upon  them. 

The    great    majority    of    the   boys    and    girls 


accept  passively  the  conditions  of  the  trade  or 
occupation  into  which  chance  and  their  neces- 
sities have  forced  them.  The  desire  for  some- 
thing different  seldom  becomes  articulate  or 
strong  enough  to  impel  them  to  overcome  the 
almost  insuperable  barriers.  Occasionally,  how- 
ever, the  spirit  of  revolt  asserts  itself.  "  I  work 
in  a  sweatshop,"  said  a  young  girl  who  brought 
her  drawings  to  me  for  criticism,  "  and  it 
harasses  my  body  and  my  soul.  Perhaps  I 
could  earn  enough  to  live  on  by  doing  these, 
and  my  brother  bids  me  to  display  them"; 
and  she  added,  '  I  could  live  on  three  dollars 
a  week  if  I  were  happy."  The  drawings  were 
promising,  and  the  temperamental  young 
creature,  in  answer  to  my  questioning,  admitted 
that  she  had  illustrated  David  Copperfield  for 
pastime  and  had  u  given  David  a  weak  chin." 

The  difficulty  of  proper  placement  in  industry 
experienced  by  the  ordinary  boy  and  girl  is 
intensified  in  the  case  of  the  colored  juveniles. 
It  is  now  nine  years  since  a  woman  called  at 
the  Henry  Street  house  and  almost  challenged 
me  to  face  their  problem.  She  was  what  is 
termed  a  "  race  woman,"  and  desired  to  work 
for  her  own  people.  It  was  not  difficult  to 
provide  an  opening  for  her.  The  devoted 
daughter  of  a  man  who  had  felt  friendship  for 
the  colored  people  made  it  possible  for  us  to 


establish  a  branch  of  the  settlement  on  the 
west  side  of  the  city  in  that  section  known 
as  San  Juan  Hill.  At  "  Lincoln  House,"  with 
the  co-operation  of  representatives  of  the  race 
and  their  friends,  a  programme  of  social  and 
educational  work  adapted  to  the  needs  of  the 
neighborhood  is  carried  on.  To  find  admirably 
trained  and  efficient  colored  nurses  was  a  com- 
paratively simple  matter;  and  the  response  of 
the  colored  people  themselves  in  this  respect 
was  immediately  encouraging.  Necessity  for 
patient  adherence  to  the  principle  of  giving 
opportunity  to  the  most  needy  children,  that 
they  may  be  better  equipped  for  the  future,  is 
emphasized  in  the  case  of  the  colored  children 
in  school  and  when  seeking  work;  but  difficul- 
ties, mountainous  in  proportion  and  testing  the 
most  buoyant  optimism,  loom  up  when  social 
barriers  and  racial  characteristics  enter  into 
individual  adjustments.  The  restricted  number 
of  occupations  open  to  them  discourages  ambi- 
tion and  in  time  reacts  unfavorably  upon  char- 
acter and  ability;  and  thus  we  complete  the 
vicious  circle  of  diminishing  opportunities  and 
lessening  vigor  and  skill.  Colored  women  are 
often  conspicuously  good  and  tender  mothers, 
and  when  I  have  watched  large  groups  of  them 
assembled  in  their  clubrooms,  exhibiting  their 
babies  with  justifiable  pride,  I  have  felt  a  wave 






























of  unhappiness  because  of  the  consciousness  of 
the  enormous  handicap  with  which  these  little 
ones  must  face  the  future. 

A  distinguished  musician  told  me  not  long 
ago  that  he  gave  specially  of  his  time  and  talent 
to  the  colored  people  of  New  York  because  of 
a  debt  he  owed  to  a  gifted  colored  neighbor. 
When  he  was  a  boy,  his  attempts  to  play  the 
violin  attracted  the  man's  attention;  the  latter 
offered  his  services  as  instructor  when  he 
learned  that  the  boy  could  not  afford  to  take 
lessons.  The  colored  man  had  great  talent  and 
had  studied  with  the  best  masters  in  Europe, 
but  when  he  returned  to  America  he  was  unable 
to  obtain  engagements  or  procure  pupils,  and 
in  order  to  earn  his  living  was  obliged  to  learn 
to  play  the  guitar.  Discouraging  as  was  his 
experience,  there  is,  I  believe,  relatively  freer 
opportunity  for  the  exceptionally  gifted  of  the 
colored  race  in  the  arts  and  professions  than 
for  the  ordinary  young  men  and  women  who 
seek  vocational  careers. 

Experience  in  Henry  Street,  and  a  convic- 
tion that  intelligent  interest  in  the  welfare  of 
children  was  becoming  universal,  gradually 
focused  my  mind  on  the  necessity  for  a  Fed- 
eral Children's  Bureau.  Every  day  brought  to 


the  settlement,  by  mail  and  personal  call, — as 
it  must  have  brought  to  other  people  and 
agencies  known  to  be  interested  in  children, — 
the  most  varied  inquiries,  appeals  for  help  and 
guidance,  reflecting  every  social  aspect  of  the 

question.  One  well- 
known  judge  of  a  chil- 
dren's court  was  obliged 
to  employ  a  clerical  staff 
at  his  own  expense  to 
reply  to  such  inquiries. 
Those  that  came  to  us 
we  answered  as  best  we 
might  out  of  our  own  ex- 
perience or  from  frag- 
mentary and  incomplete 
data.  Even  the  avail- 
able information  on  this 
important  subject  was 
nowhere  assembled  in 
complete  and  practical  form.  The  birth  rate, 
preventable  blindness,  congenital  and  prevent- 
able disease,  infant  mortality,  physical  degen- 
eracy, orphanage,  desertion,  juvenile  delin- 
quency, dangerous  occupations  and  accidents, 
crimes  against  children,  are  questions  of  enor- 
mous national  importance  concerning  some  of 
which  reliable  information  was  wholly  lacking. 
Toward  the  close  of  President  Roosevelt's  ad- 


ministration  a  colleague  and  I  called  upon  him 
to  present  my  plea  for  the  creation  of  this 
bureau.  On  that  day  the  Secretary  of  Agricul- 
ture had  gone  South  to  ascertain  what  danger 
to  the  community  lurked  in  the  appearance  of 
the  boll  weevil.  This  gave  point  to  our  argu- 
ment that  nothing  that  might  have  happened 
to  the  children  of  the  nation  could  have  called 
forth  governmental  inquiry. 

The  Federal  Children's  Bureau  was  conceived 
in  the  interest  of  all  children;  but  it  was  fitting 
that  the  National  Committee  on  which  I  serve, 
dedicated  to  working  children,  should  have  be- 
come sponsor  for  the  necessary  propaganda  for 
its  creation. 

It  soon  became  evident  that  the  suggestion 
was  timely.  Sympathy  and  support  came  from 
every  part  of  the  country,  from  Maine  to  Cali- 
fornia, and  from  every  section  of  society.  The 
national  sense  of  humor  was  aroused  by  the 
grim  fact  that  whereas  the  Federal  Government 
concerned  itself  with  the  conservation  of  mate- 
rial wealth,  mines  and  forests,  hogs  and  lob- 
sters, and  had  long  since  established  bureaus 
to  supply  information  concerning  them,  citi- 
zens who  desired  instruction  and  guidance  for 
the  conservation  and  protection  of  the  children 
of  the  nation  had  no  responsible  governmental 
body  to  which  to  appeal. 


Though  the  suggestion  was  approved  by 
President  Roosevelt  and  widely  supported  by 
press  and  people,  it  was  not  until  the  close 
of  President  Taft's  administration  that  the 
Federal  Children's  Bureau  became  a  fact,  and 

the  child  with  all  its  needs  was  brought  into 
the  sphere  of  federal  care  and  solicitude.  The 
appointment  of  Miss  Julia  Lathrop,  a  woman 
of  conspicuous  personal  fitness  and  adequate 
training,  to  be  its  first  chief  was  a  guarantee 
of  the  auspicious  beginning  of  its  work.  In 
the  brief  time  of  its  service  it  has  had  con- 
tinuous evidence  that  the  people  of  these  United 
States  intelligently  avail  themselves  of  the  op- 



portunity  for  acquiring  better  understanding  of 
the  great  responsibility  that  is  placed  upon 
each  generation. 

The  Federal  Children's  Bureau  would  not 
fulfill  the  purpose  of  its  originators  if  its  serv- 
ice were  limited  to  the 
study  and  record  of  the 
pathological  conditions 
surrounding  children.  Its 
greatest  work  for  the  na- 
tion should  be,  and  doubt-  ^ 
less  will  be,  to  create 
standards  for  the  states 
and  municipalities  which 
may  turn  to  it  for  expert 
advice  and  guidance.  With  the  living  issues 
involved  it  is  not  likely  to  become  mechanical. 

The  Children's  Bureau  is  a  symbol  of  the 
most  hopeful  aspect  of  America.  Founded  in 
love  for  children  and  confidence  in  the  future, 
its  existence  is  enormously  significant.  The 
first  time  I  visited  Washington  after  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Bureau  I  felt  a  thrill  of  the 
new  and  the  hopeful,  and  I  contrasted  its  bare 
office  with  the  splendid  monuments  that  had 
been  erected  and  dedicated  to  the  past.  Some 
day,  I  thought,  a  lover  of  his  country,  under- 
standing that  the  children  of  to-dav  are  our 

*•-*  «/ 

future,  will  build  a  temple  to  them  in  the  seat 


of  the  Federal  Government.  This  building  will 
be  more  beautiful  than  those  inspired  by  the 
army  and  navy,  by  the  exploits  of  science  or 
commemoration  of  the  dead.  As  my  imagina- 
tion soared  I  fairly  visualized  the  Children's 
Bureau  developed,  expanded,  drawing  from  all 
corners  of  the  land  eager  parents  and  teachers 
to  learn  not  only  the  theory  of  child  culture,  but 
to  see  demonstrations  of  the  best  methods  in 
playgrounds,  clinics,  classes,  clubs,  buildings, 
and  equipment.  The  vision  became  associated 
with  a  memory  of  the  first  time  I  saw  the  Lucca 
della  Robbias  on  the  outer  wall  of  the  Floren- 
tine asylum  and  felt  the  inspiration  of  linking 
a  great  artist  with  a  little  waif.  But  those 
lovely  sculptured  babes  are  swathed.  Some 
day,  when  the  beautiful  building  of  the  Fed- 
eral Children's  Bureau  is  pointed  out  in  Wash- 
ington, I  have  it  in  my  heart  to  believe  that 
the  genius  who  decorates  in  paint  or  plastic 
art  will  convey  the  new  conception  of  the  child, 
-free  of  motion,  uplooking,  the  ward  of  the 




THE  settlement,  through  its  preservation  of 
several  of  the  fine  old  houses  of  the  neighbor- 
hood, maintains  a  curious  link  with  what,  in 
this  city  of  rapid  changes,  is  already  a  shadowy 
past.  The  families  of  some  of  the  residents 
once  lived  nearby,  and  recall,  when  they  visit 
us,  the  schools  and  churches  they  attended,  their 
dancing  classes,  and  the  homes  where  they  were 
entertained.  One  visitor  told  of  the  scandal 
in  the  best  society,  more  than  half  a  century 
ago,  at  the  extravagance  of  a  proud  father, 
then  an  occupant  of  one  of  the  settlement 
houses,  who  gave  his  young  daughter  a  necklet 
of  pearls  on  the  day  of  her  "  coming-out ' 
party.  Old  men  and  women  for  whom  the 
names  of  the  streets  evoke  reminiscences  de- 
light to  revive  the  happy  memories  of  their 
youth  and  to  identify  the  few  buildings, 
greatly  altered  as  to  their  uses,  that  still  remain. 

Cherry  Street  and  Cherry  Hill,  a  short  dis- 
tance away,  call  up  traditions  of  a  great  orchard 

to  which  we  owe  their  names,  its  beauty  in  the 



blossoming  time,  the  quaint,  clean  houses,  each 
in  its  garden,  all  the  pleasant,  comfortable  life 
of  a  bygone  time.  There  is  nothing  pleasant 
or  comfortable  about  Cherry  Street  to-day. 
Legends  of  the  daring  deeds  of  the  Cherry  Hill 
gang  lend  a  dubious  glamour  to  some  parts  of 
it,  but  for  the  rest  it  is  dingy  and  dull. 

We  met  Lena  in  one  of  the  dull  houses  where 
we  had  been  called  because  of  her  illness.  The 
family  were  attractive  Russians  of  the  blond 
type,  and  the  patient  herself  was  very  beautiful, 
her  exceeding  pallor  giving  her  an  almost 
ethereal  look.  The  rooms  were  as  bare  as  the 
traditional  poor  man's  home  of  the  story-books, 
but  the  mother  had  hidden  the  degradation  of 
the  broken  couch  with  a  clean  linen  sheet,  relic 
of  her  bridal  outfit. 

After  convalescence  Lena  was  glad  to  accept 
employment  and  resume  her  share  of  the  family 
burden.  One  day  she  rushed  in  from  the  tailor's 
shop  during  working  hours,  and,  literally  upon 
her  knees,  begged  for  other  work.  She  could 
no  longer  endure  the  obscene  language  of  her 
employer,  which  she  felt  was  directed  especially 
to  her.  The  story  to  experienced  ears  signaled 
danger,  but  to  extricate  her  without  destruction 
of  the  pride  which  repelled  financial  aid  was 
not  simple.  Readjustments  had  to  be  made  to 














give  her  a  belated  training  that  would  fit  her 
for  employment  outside  the  ranks  of  the  un- 
skilled. Fortunately,  the  parents  needed  little 
stimulus  to  comprehend  the  humiliation  to  their 
daughter,  and  they  readily  agreed  to  the  post- 
ponement of  help  from  her,  although  they  were 
at  a  low  tide  of  income. 

The  very  coarseness  of  this  kind  of  attack 
upon  a  girl's  sensibilities  I  have  learned  in 
the  course  of  years,  makes  it  easier  to  combat 
than  the  subtle  and  less  tangible  suggestions 
that  mislead  and  then  betray.  Sometimes  these 
are  inherent  in  the  work  itself. 

A  girl  leading  an  immoral  life  was  once  sent 
to  me  for  possible  help.  She  called  in  the 
evening,  and  we  sat  together  on  the  pleasant 
back  porch  adjoining  my  sitting-room.  Here 
the  shrill  noises  of  the  street  came  but  faintly, 
and  the  quiet  and  privacy  helped  to  create  an 
atmosphere  that  led  easily  to  confidence. 

It  was  long  past  midnight  when  we  sepa- 
rated. The  picture  of  the  wretched  home  that 
she  had  presented, — its  congestion,  the  slovenly 
housekeeping,  the  demanding  infant,  the  ill- 
prepared  food  snatched  from  the  stove  by  the 
members  of  the  family  as  they  returned  from 
work, — I  knew  it  only  too  well.  The  girl  her- 
self, refined  in  speech  and  pretty,  slept  in  a 
bed  with  three  others.  She  had  gone  to  work 


when  she  was  eleven,  and  later  became  a  dem- 
onstrator in  a  department  store,  where  the  dis- 
play of  expensive  finery  on  the  counters  and 
its  easy  purchase  by  luxurious  women  had  evi- 
dently played  a  part  in  her  moral  deterioration. 
Her  most  conscious  desire  was  for  silk  under- 
wear; at  least  it  was  the  only  one  she  seemed 
able  to  formulate!  And  this  trivial  desire,  in- 
finitely pathetic  in  its  disclosure,  told  her 
story.  As  I  stood  at  the  front  door  after 
bidding  her  good-night,  and  watched  her  down 
the  street,  it  did  not  seem  possible  that  so 
frail  a  creature  could  summon  up  the  heroism 
necessary  to  rise  above  the  demoralization  of 
the  home  to  which  she  was  returning  and  the 
kind  of  work  open  to  her. 

During  that  summer  she  came  each  day  to  the 
settlement  for  instruction  in  English,  prelim- 
inary to  a  training  in  telegraphy,  for  which  she 
had  expressed  a  preference.  Nothing  in  her 
conduct  during  that  time  could  have  been  criti- 
cised, but  subsequent  chapters  in  her  career 
have  shown  that  she  was  unable  to  overcome 
the  inclinations  that  were  the  evil  legacy  of 
her  mode  of  life. 

The  menace  to  the  morals  of  youth  is  not 
confined  to  the  pretty,  poor  young  girl.  The 
lad  also  is  exposed.  I  could  wish  there  were 
more  sympathy  with  the  very  young  men  who 


at  times  are  trapped  into  immorality  by  means 
not  so  very  different,  except  in  degree,  from 
those  that  imperil  the  girl.  The  careless  way 
in  which  boys  are  intrusted  with  money  by 
employers  has  tempted  many  who  are  not  nat- 
urally thievish.  I  have  known  dishonesty  of 
this  kind  on  the  part  of  boys  who  never  in 
after  life  repeated  the  offense. 

An  instance  of  grave  misbehavior  of  another 
character  was  once  brought  to  me  by  our  own 
young  men,  three  of  whom  called  upon  me,  evi- 
dently in  painful  embarrassment.  After  strug- 
gling to  bring  their  courage  to  the  speaking 

point,  they  told  me  that  L was  leading  an 

immoral  life,  and  they  were  sure  that  if  I 
knew  it  I  would  not  allow  him  to  dance  with 
the  girls.  They  had  been  considering  for  some 
time  whether  or  not  I  should  be  informed. 
Heartily  disliking  the  task,  one  of  the  young 
men  had  consulted  his  mother  and  she  had 
made  it  plain  that  it  was  my  right  to  know. 
Fortunately  the  district  attorney  then  in  office 
had  from  time  to  time  invoked  the  co-operation 
of  the  settlement  in  problems  that  could  not 
be  met  by  a  prosecutor.  A  telephone  message 
to  him  brought  the  needed  aid  with  dispatch. 
When  all  the  facts  were  known,  I  felt  that  the 
young  man  had  been  snared  exactly  as  had  been 
the  young  girl  who  was  with  him.  Both  were  vie- 


tims  of  the  wretched  creature  whose  exile  from 
New  York  the  district  attorney  insisted  upon. 
The  three  had  met  in  a  dance-hall,  widely  ad- 
vertised and  popular  among  young  people. 

The  inquiry  of  the  famous  Committee  of 
Fifteen,  as  New  Yorkers  know,  was  given  its 
first  impetus  by  the  action  of  a  group  of  young 
men  of  our  neighborhood,  already  distinguished 
for  the  ethical  stand  they  had  taken  on  social 
matters,  and  every  one  of  them  members  for 
many  years  of  clubs  in  another  settlement  and 
our  own.  They  comprehended  the  hideous  cost 
of  the  red-light  district  and  resented  its  exist- 
ence in  their  neighborhood,  where  not  even  the 
children  escaped  knowledge  of  its  evils. 

Although  in  the  twenty-one  years  of  the  or- 
ganized life  of  the  settlement  no  girl  or  young 
woman  identified  with  us  has  "  gone  wrong ' 
in  the  usual  understanding  of  that  term,  we 
have  been  so  little  conscious  of  working 
definitely  for  this  end  that  my  attention  was 
drawn  to  the  fact  only  when  a  woman  distin- 
guished for  her  work  among  girls  made  the 
statement  that  never  in  the  Night  Court  or 
institutions  for  delinquents  had  she  found  a 
girl  who  had  "  belonged  "  to  our  settlement.1 

1  While  writing  this  we  learn  that  a  child  attending  a  settlement 
club  has  been  involved  in  practices  that  indicate  a  perversion,  but  she 
cannot  properly  be  included  in  the  above  classification  because  of  her 
extreme  youth. — THE  AUTHOR. 


I  record  this  bit  of  testimony  with  some  hesi- 
tation, as  it  does  not  seem  right  to  make  it 
matter  for  marvel  or  congratulation.  One  does 
not  expect  a  mother  to  be  surprised  or  grati- 
fied that  her  daughters  are  virtuous;  and  it 
would  be  a  grave  injustice  to  the  girls  of  char- 
acter and  lofty  ideals  who  through  the  years 
have  been  connected  with  the  settlement  if  we 
assumed  the  credit  for  their  fine  qualities. 

But  as  in  ordinary  families  there  are  diver- 
sities of  character,  of  strength,  and  of  weakness, 
so  in  a  large  community  family,  if  I  may  so 
define  the  relationship  of  the  settlement  mem- 
bership, these  diversities  are  more  strongly 
marked;  and  it  is  a  gratification  that  we  are 
often  able  to  give  to  young  girls — frail, 
ignorant,  unequipped  for  the  struggle  into 
which  they  are  so  early  plunged — some  of  the 
protection  that  under  other  circumstances 
would  be  provided  by  their  families  and  social 

All  classes  show  occasional  instances  of  girls 
who  "  go  wrong."  The  commonly  accepted 
theory  that  the  direct  incentive  is  a  mercenary 
one  is  not  borne  out  by  our  experience.  The 
thousands  of  poor  young  girls  we  have  known, 
into  whose  minds  the  thought  of  wrong-doing 
of  this  kind  has  never  entered,  testify  against  it. 

However,  a  low  family  income  means  a  poor 


home,  underfeeding,  congestion,  lack  of  privacy, 
and  lack  of  proper  safeguards  against  the  emo- 
tional crises  of  adolescence  for  both  boys  and 
girls.  Exhaustion  following  excessive  or  mo- 
notonous toil  weakens  moral  and  physical  re- 
sistance; and  as  a  result  of  the  inadequate 
provision  for  wholesome,  inexpensive  recrea- 
tion, pleasures  are  secured  at  great  risk. 

In  the  summer  of  1912  a  notorious  gambler 
was  murdered  in  New  York,  and  the  whole 
country  was  shocked  by  the  disclosure  of  the  ex- 
istence of  groups  of  young  men  organized  for 
crime  and  designated  as  "  gunmen."  There  is 
not  space  here  for  a  discussion  of  this  tragic  re- 
sult of  street  life.  It  is  probable  that  the  four 
young  men  who  were  executed  for  the  murder 
were  led  astray,  in  the  first  place,  by  their 
craving  for  adventure.  They  were  found  to 
have  been  the  tools  of  a  powerful  police  officer, 
and  it  was  generally  believed  that  they  were 
mentally  defective,  and  were  thus  made  more 
readily  the  dupes  of  an  imposing  personality. 
They  had  not  suffered  from  extreme  poverty, 
nor  had  they  been  without  religious  instruction. 
Two  of  them,  in  fact,  came  from  homes  of 
orthodox  strictness;  but  it  was  plain  from  their 
histories  that  there  had  been  no  adjustment  of 
environment  to  meet  their  needs.  There  was 
no  evidence  that  they  had  at  any  time  come 


in  contact  with  people  or  institutions  that  rec- 
ognized the  social  impulses  of  youth. 

At  the  time  of  the  murder  I  was  in  the 
mountains  recovering  from  an  illness.  The 
letters  I  received,  following  the  disclosure  of 
the  existence  of  the  '  gunmen,"  particularly 
those  from  young  men,  carried  a  peculiar 

appeal.  Our  own  club  members  urged  the  need 
of  the  settlement's  extending  protection  to 
greater  numbers  of  boys.  Some  of  the  young 
men  wrote  frankly  of  perils  from  which  they 
had  barely  escaped  and  of  which  I  had  had  no 
knowledge.  They  all  laid  stress  upon  the  im- 
portance of  preventing  disaster  by  the  provision 
of  wholesome  recreation  which,  as  one  corre- 
spondent wrote,  "  should  have  excitement  also." 
Their  belief  in  the  efficacv  of  club  control  is 


firmly  fixed.     A  few  evenings  ago  one  of  the 


young  men  of  the  settlement  conversant  with 
conditions,  speaking  to  a  new  resident,  defined 
a  "  gang  "  as  "  a  club  gone  wrong." 

Mothers  from  time  to  time  come  to  the  Henry 
Street  house  for  help  to  rescue  their  erring 
sons.  They  come  secretly,  fearing  to  have  their 
sons  or  the  police  trace  disclosures  to  them.  A 
poolroom  on  a  nearby  street,  said  to  have  been, 

at  one  time,  a  "  hang-out '  of  the  gunmen,  and 
its  lure  evidently  enhanced  by  that  fact,  was 
reported  to  us  as  "  suspicious/'  The  police  and 
a  society  organized  to  suppress  such  places  told 
me  that  the  evidence  they  could  secure  was 
insufficient  to  warrant  hope  of  conviction. 
Mothers  who  suspected  that  stolen  property 
was  taken  there,  made  alert  by  anxiety  for  their 
sons,  furnished  me  with  evidence  that  war- 
ranted insistence  on  my  part  that  the  Police 
Commissioner  order  the  place  closed. 


Formal  meetings  with  parents  to  consider 
matters  affecting  their  children  are  a  fixed  part 
of  the  settlement  programme,  and  the  problems 
of  adolescence  are  freely  and  frankly  discussed. 
An  experienced  and  humane  judge,  addressing 
one  such  meeting,  spoke  simply  and  directly 
of  the  young  people  who  were  brought  before 
him  charged  with  crime,  showing  his  under- 
standing of  the  causes  that  led  to  it  and  his 
sympathy  with  the  offenders  as  well  as  with 
their  harassed  parents.  He  begged  for  a  re- 
vival of  the  old  homely  virtues  and  for  the 
strengthening  of  family  ties.  A  mother  in  the 
group  rose  and  confessed  her  helplessness.  She 
reminded  the  judge  of  the  difficulty  of  keeping 
young  people  under  observation  and  guarding 
them  from  the  temptations  of  street  life  when 
the  mothers,  like  herself,  went  out  to  work. 
Ordinary  boys  and  girls,  she  thought,  could 
not  resist  these  temptations  unaided;  and  speak- 
ing of  her  own  boy,  who  had  been  brought 
before  him,  she  summed  up  her  understanding 
of  the  situation  in  the  words:  "  It's  not  that  my 
son  is  bad;  it's  just  that  he's  not  a  hero." 

I  do  not  know  who  originated  the  idea  of  a 
"  club  '    as  a  means  of  guidance  and  instruction 


for  the  young.  Our  inducement  to  organize 
socially  came  from  a  group  of  small  boys  in 
the  summer  of  1895,  our  first  in  the  Henry 
Street  house.  We  had  already  acquired  a  large 
circle  of  juvenile  friends,  and  it  soon  became 
evident  that  definite  hours  must  be  set  aside 
for  meeting  different  groups  if  our  time  was 

not  to  be  dissipated 
in  fragmentary  vis- 
its. When  these 
boys  of  eleven  and 
twelve  years  of  age, 
who  had  not,  up  to 
that  time,  given  any 
evidence  of  partial- 
ity for  our  society, 
called  to  ask  if  they 
could  see  me  some 
time  when  I  c  wasn't  busy/'  I  made  an  appoint- 
ment with  them  for  the  next  Saturday  evening, 
whereupon  the  club  was  organized. 

It  is  still  in  existence  with  practically  the 
original  membership;  and  the  relationship  of 
the  members  of  this  first  group  to  the  settle- 
ment and  to  me  personally  has  been  of  price- 
less value.  Many  of  its  members  have  for 
years  been  club  leaders.  They  contribute  gen- 
erously to  the  settlement  and  in  a  variety  of 
ways  enter  into  its  life  and  responsibilities. 


Clubs  formed  since  then,  for  all  ages  and  almost 
all  nationalities,  have  proved  to  be  of  great 
value  in  affording  opportunity  for  fellowship, 
and,  during  the  susceptible  years,  in  aiding  the 
formation  of  character;  and  the  continuity  of 
the  relationship  has  made  possible  an  inter- 
change of  knowledge  and  experience  of  great 
advantage  to  those  brought  together. 

The  training  of  club  leaders  is  as  essential 
as  the  guidance  of  the  club  members.  Brilliant 
personalities  are  attracted  to  the  settlement, 
but  it  can  use  to  good  purpose  the  moderate 
talents  and  abilities  of  more  ordinary  people 
whose  good-will  and  interest  are  otherwise  apt 
to  be  wasted  because  they  find  no  expression 
for  them. 

Given  sincerity,  and  that  vague  but  essential 
quality  called  personality,  in  the  leaders,  we 
do  not  care  very  much  what  the  programme  of 
a  club  may  be.  I  have  never  known  a  club 
leader  possessing  these  qualifications  who  did 
not  get  out  of  the  experience  as  much  as  it 
was  possible  to  give,  if  not  more.  An  interest 
in  basic  social  problems  develops  naturally  out 
of  the  club  relationship.  Housing  conditions, 
immigration,  unemployment,  minimum  wag-e, 
political  control,  labor  unions,  are  no  longer 
remote  and  academic.  They  are  subjects  of 


immediate   concern   because   of   their   vital   im- 
portance to  the  new  circle  of  friends. 

The  leaders  of  the  clubs  meet  regularly  for 
inspiration  and  guidance.  Their  conferences 
might  be  likened  to  serious  faculty  meetings, 

A  Settlement  Interior. 

only  here  the  social  aspects  of  life  and  indi- 
vidual problems  are  discussed.  We  ask  them 
to  bear  in  mind  the  necessity  of  encouraging 
the  altruistic  impulses  inherent  in  normal 
human  kind,  but,  like  other  faculties,  needing 
to  be  exercised.  Where  the  material  needs 
challenge  the  sympathies  one  must  be  reminded 
that  l  where  there  is  no  vision  the  people 



perish."  In  our  neighborhood  there  are  tradi- 
tions among  the  people  that  readily  lend  them- 
selves to  the  reaffirmation  of  this  message. 

The  girls'  and  children's  department  has  long 
had  the  inspiration  of  a  gifted  young  woman 
who,  though  a  non-resident,  has  contributed 
in  equal  measure  with  those  who  have  found  it 
possible  to  detach  themselves  sufficiently  from 
their  family  obligations  to  reside  in  the  settle- 
ment. Among  the  leaders  are  young  men  and 
women  who  themselves  have  been  members  of 
the  clubs,  some  of  them  now  occupying  posi- 
tions of  trust  and  authority  in  the  city. 

The  classes  have  more  definite  educational 
programmes,  but  in  the  settlement  they  are  in- 
terrelated with  the  clubs  and  made  to  harmonize 
with  their  purpose.  For  children  attending 
school  the  manual  training  is  planned  to  dem- 
onstrate the  value  of  new  experiments  or  t6 
supplement  the  instruction  the  school  system 
affords.  The  art  classes  are  limited  and  infor- 
mal, and  without  studio  equipment  as  yet,  but 
interested  teachers  have  given  their  time  to 
students  who  show  inclination  or  ability,  and 
effort  is  made  to  bring  out  not  conventional, 
imitative  work,  but  the  power  to  see  and  to 
portray  honestly  the  things  about  us.  All  the 
settlement  family  felt  that  for  this  reason,  if 
for  no  other,  it  was  fitting  to  have  the  story 


of  "  The  House  on   Henry  Street '    illustrated 
by  one  who  had  found  his  art  expression  there. 


The  dramatic  instinct  is  very  strong  in  the 
Jewish  child,  and  musical  gifts  are  not  uncom- 
mon. With  encourage- 
ment a  high  degree  of 
talent  is  often  developed. 
Perhaps  the  most  im- 
pressive evidence  of  this 
has  been  given  in  the 
cycle  °f  Hebrew  ritual 
festivals,  poetical  inter- 
pretations of  the  cere- 
monies cherished  by  the 
Henry  Street  neighbor- 
hood. The  value  of 
these  is  not  limited  to 
the  educational  effect 
upon  the  young  people.  They  interpret  anew 
to  the  community  the  rich  inheritance  of  our 
neighbors,  and  the  parents  of  those  who  par- 
ticipate give  touching  evidence  of  their  appre- 

When  a  beautiful  pageant  based  on  the  inci- 
dent of  Miriam  and  her  maidens  was  in 
rehearsal  an  intractable  small  boy  was  dis- 
missed from  the  cast.  In  the  evening  his 


father,  a  printer,  called  and  expressed  the  hope 
that  if  his  son's  behavior  was  not  unforgivable 
we  would  take  him  back.  He  wished  the  boy 
might  carry  through  life  the  memory  of  having 
had  a  part  in  something  as  beautiful  as  this 
festival.  After  a  performance  a  woman  who 
had  suffered  bitterly  in  her  Russian  home 
blocked  for  a  moment  the  outgoing  crowd  at 
the  door  while  she  stopped  to  say  how  beautiful 
she  thought  it,  adding  with  deep  feeling,  "  I 
thank  most  for  showing  respect  to  our  re- 

The  dramatic  club  has  attempted  serious 
work,  and  "  The  Shepherd/'  by  Olive  Tilford 
Dargan,  and  Galsworthy's  "  Silver  Box '  were 
two  of  their  performances  given  at  Clinton 
Hall  that,  in  the  judgment  of  the  critical, 
reached  a  high  level  of  excellence. 

The  Neighborhood  Playhouse,  opened  in 
February,  1915,  is  the  outcome  of  the  work  of 
the  festival  and  dramatic  groups  of  the  Henry 
Street  Settlement.  For  nine  years  gifted 
leaders  have  devoted  themselvs  to  this  interest, 
and  the  building  of  the  well-appointed  little 
theater  was  necessary  for  the  further  develop- 
ment of  the  work.  In  addition  to  the  education 
incident  to  performing  parts  in  good  plays  un- 
der cultured  instructors,  and  the  music,  poetry, 
and  dance  of  the  festival  classes,  the  playhouse 


offers  training  in  the  various  arts  and  trades 
connected  with  stage  production.  Practically 
all  the  costumes,  settings,  and  properties  used 
in  the  settlement  performances  have  been  made 
in  the  classes  and  workshops. 

'  Jephthah's  Daughter,"  a  festival,  opened 
the  playhouse.  We  were  pleased  to  believe 
that  the  performance  gained  in  significance  be- 
cause the  music,  the  dance,  and  the  color  were 
a  reminder  of  the  dower  brought  to  New  York 
by  the  stranger.  Seventy-eight  young  people 
were  in  the  cast,  and  many  more  had  a  share 
in  the  production.  Children  belonging  to  the 
youngest  clubs  in  the  settlement  pulled  the 
threads  to  make  the  fringes;  designers  and 
makers  of  costumes,  craftsmen,  composers, 



painters  and  musicians,  seamstresses,  directors, 
and  producers,  all  contributed  in  varying  de- 
grees, showing  a  community  of  interest,  serv- 
ice, and  enthusiasm  only  possible  when  the  pur- 
pose lies  outside  the  materialist's  world. 

It  is  our  hope  that  the  playhouse,  identified 
with  the  neighborhood,  may  recapture  and  hold 
something  of  the  poetry  and  idealism  that  be- 

From  "  Jephthah's  Daughter." 

long  to  its  people  and  open  the  door  of  oppor- 
tunity for  messages  in  drama  and  picture  and 
song  and  story.  In  its  first  brief  season,  beside 
the  productions  of  the  groups  for  whose  devel- 


opment  the  theater  was  constructed,  there 
have  been  special  performances  for  the  children 
at  which  famous  story-tellers  have  appeared. 
Important  anniversaries  have  been  impressively 
celebrated.  Ellen  Terry,  of  imperishable  charm, 
gave  Shakespearean  readings  on  the  poet's 
birthday,  and  Sarah  Cowell  Le  Moyne  gave  the 
readings  from  Browning  on  his  day.  Ibsen  and 
Shaw  and  Dunsany  have  been  interpreted,  and 
distinguished  professionals  have  found  pleas- 
ure in  acting  before  audiences  at  once  critical 
and  appreciative. 


WE    remind    our    young   people    from    time    to 
time   that   conventions   established    in   sophisti- 
cated   society    have    usually    a    sound    basis    in 
social    experience,    and    the    cultivation    of    the 
minor   morals   of  good   manners   develops   con- 
sideration   for    others. 
We      interpret      the 
"  coming-out  "  party  as 
a  glorification  of  youth. 
When  the  members  of 
the      young     women's 
clubs  reach  the  age  of 
eighteen,     the     annual 
ball  of  the  settlement, 
its  most  popular  social 
function,   is   made    the 
occasion  of  their  form- 
al     introduction      and 
promotion  to  the  sen- 
ior group.     As  Head  Resident  I  am  their  host- 
ess, and  in  giving  the  invitations  I  make  much 

of    the    fact    that    they    have    reached    young 



womanhood,  with  the  added  privileges,  dignity, 
and  responsibility  that  it  brings. 

Intimate  and  long-sustained  association,  not 
only  with  the  individual,  but  with  the  entire 
family,  gives  opportunities  that  would  never 
open  up  if  the  acquaintance  were  casual  or  the 
settlement  formally  institutional.  The  incidents 
that  follow  illustrate  this,  and  I  could  add  many 

Two  girls  classified  as  "  near  tough  '  seemed 
beyond  the  control  of  their  club  leader,  who 
entreated  help  from  the  more  experienced.  On 
a  favorable  occasion  Bessie  was  invited  to  the 
cozy  intimacy  of  my  sitting-room.  *  That  she 
and  Eveline,  her  chum,  were  conscious  of  their 
exaggerated  raiment  was  obvious,  for  she 
hastened  to  say,  ;  I  guess  it's  on  account  of 
my  yellow  waist.  Eveline  and  me  faded  away 
when  we  saw  you  at  dancing  class  the  other 
night."  It  was  easy  to  follow  up  her  intro- 
duction by  pointing  out  that  pronounced  lack 
of  modesty  in  dress  was  one  of  several  signs; 
that  their  dancing,  their  talk,  their  freedom  of 
manner,  all  combined  to  render  them  conspicu- 
ous and  to  cause  their  friends  anxiety.  Bessie 
listened,  observed  that  she  "  couldn't  throw 
the  waist  away,  for  it  cost  five  dollars,"  but  in- 
sisted that  she  was  "  good  on  the  inside."  An 
offer  to  buy  the  waist  and  burn  it  because  her 

YOUTH  191 

dignity  was  worth  more  than  five  dollars  was 
illuminating.  "  That  strikes  me  as  somethin' 
grand.  I  wouldn't  let  you  do  it,  but  I'll  never 
wear  the  waist  again.'3  So  far  as  we  know, 
she  has  kept  her  word. 

Annie  began  to  show  a  pronounced  taste  in 
dress,  and  gave  unmistakable  signs  of  restless- 
ness. She  confided  her  aspirations  toward  the 
stage.  The  young  club  leader,  with  insight  and 
understanding,  used  the  settlement  influence  to 
secure  the  coveted  interview  with  a  manager. 

Promptly  at  the  appointed  hour  on  Satur- 
day, when  the  girl's  half-holiday  made  the 

engagement  possible,  Miss  B went  to  the 

factory  to  meet  her.  In  the  stream  of  girls  that 
poured  from  it  Annie,  who  had  dressed  for 
the  occasion,  was  conspicuous.  It  required 
some  fortitude  on  the  part  of  her  settlement 
friend  to  adhere  to  their  original  programme, 
but  they  rode  on  the  top  of  a  Fifth  Avenue 
stage,  ate  ice  cream  at  a  fashionable  resort, 
and  finally  met  the  theatrical  authority,  who 
gave  most  effectively  the  discouragement 

When  Sophie's  manner  and  dress  caused 
comment  among  her  associates,  her  club  leader, 
who  had  been  waiting  for  ?.  suitable  opportu- 


nity,  called  to  see  her  on  Sunday  morning, 
when  the  girl  would  be  sure  to  be  at  home. 
Sitting  on  the  edge  of  the  bed  in  the  cramped 
room,  they  talked  the  matter  over.  As  for 
the  paint, — many  girls  thought  it  wise  to  use 
it,  for  employers  did  not  like  to  have  jaded- 
looking  girls  working  for  them;  and  as  for  the 
finery, — "  Lots  of  uptown  swells  are  wearing 

Contrasted  with  the  girl's  generosity  to  her 
family  the  cost  of  the  finery  was  pathetically 
small.  She  had  spent  on  an  overcoat  for  her 
father  the  whole  of  the  Christmas  gratuity  given 
by  her  employer  for  a  year  of  good  service,  and 
her  pay  envelope  was  handed  unopened  to  her 
mother  every  week. 

Sophie  finally  comprehended  the  reason  for 
her  friend's  solicitude,  and  at  the  end  of  their 
talk  said  she  would  have  done  the  same  for  a 
young  sister. 

It  is  often  a  solace  to  find  eternal  youth  ex- 
pressing itself  in  harmless  gayety  of  attire, 
which  it  is  possible  to  construe  as  evidence  of 
a  sense  of  self-respect  and  self-importance.  It 
is,  at  any  rate,  a  more  encouraging  indication 
than  a  sight  I  remember  in  the  poor  quarter 
of  London.  I  watched  the  girls  at  lunch  time 
pour  into  a  famous  tea-house  from  the  nearby 
factories,  many  of  them  with  buttonless  shoes, 


YOUTH  193 

the  tops  flapping  as  they  walked;  skirts  sepa- 
rated from  untidy  blouses,  unkempt  hair, — a 
sight  that  could  nowhere  be  found  among  work- 
ing girls  in  America. 

The  settlement's  sympathy  with  this  aspect 
of  youth  may  not  seem  eminently  practical,  but 
when  Mollie  took  the  accumulated  pay  for  many 
weeks'  overtime,  amounting  to  twenty-five  dol- 
lars, and  "  blew  it  in  '  on  a  hat  with  a  mar- 
velous plume,  we  thought  we  understood  the 
impulse  that  might  have  found  more  disastrous 
expression.  The  hat  itself  became  a  white 
elephant,  a  source  of  endless  embarrassment, 
but  buying  it  had  been  an  orgy.  This  inter- 
pretation of  Mollie's  extravagance,  when  pre- 
sented to  the  mother,  who  in  her  vexation 
had  complained  to  us,  influenced  her  to  refrain 
from  nagging  and  too  often  reminding  the  girl 
of  the  many  uses  to  which  the  money  might 
have  been  put. 

At  the  hearing  of  the  Factory  Investigation 
Commission  in  New  York  during  the  winter 
of  1914-15  a  witness  testified  regarding  the 
dreary  and  incessant  economies  practiced  by 
low-paid  working  girls.  This  stimulated  discus- 
sion, and  an  editorial  in  a  morning  paper 
queried  where  the  girls  were,  pointing  out  that 
the  working  girls  of  New  York  presented  not 
only  an  attractive  but  often  a  stylish  appear- 


ance.  I  asked  a  young  acquaintance,  whose 
appearance  justified  the  newspaper  description, 
to  give  me  her  budget.  She  had  lived  on  five 
dollars  a  week.  Her  board  and  laundry  cost 
$4.  She  purchased  stockings  from  push-cart 

venders,  "  seconds '  of  odd  colors  but  good 
quality,  for  ten  cents  a  pair;  combinations, 
'  seconds '  also,  cost  25  cents.  She  bought 
boys'  blouses,  as  they  were  better  and  cheaper. 
These  cost  25  cents.  Hats  (peanut  straw)  cost 
10  cents;  tooth-paste  10  cents  a  month.  Having 

YOUTH  195 

very  small  and  narrow  feet,  she  was  able  to 
take  advantage  of  special  sales,  when  she  could 
buy  a  good  pair  of  shoes  for  50  cents.  Her 
coat,  bought  out  of  season  for  $7,  was  being 
worn  for  the  third  winter.  Conditions  were  ex- 
ceptional in  her  case,  as  she  boarded  with 
friends  who  obviously  charged  her  less  than 
she  would  otherwise  have  been  compelled  to 
pay;  but  there  was  practically  nothing  left  for 
carfares,  for  pleasure,  or  for  the  many  demands 
made  upon  even  the  most  meager  purse;  and 
few  people,  in  any  circumstances,  would  be 
able  to  show  such  excellent  discretion  in  the 
expenditure  of  income. 

In  the  tenements  family  life  is  disturbed  and 
often  threatened  with  disintegration  by  the 
sheer  physical  conditions  of  the  home.  Where 
there  is  no  privacy  there  is  inevitable  loss  of 
the  support  and  strength  that  come  from  the 
interchange  of  confidences  and  assurance  of 
understanding.  I  felt  this  anew  when  I  called 
upon  Henrietta  on  the  evening  of  the  day  her 
father  died.  The  tie  between  father  and 
daughter  had  been  close.  When  I  sought  to 
express  the  sympathy  that  even  the  strong  and 
self-reliant  need,  so  crowded  were  the  little 
rooms  that  we  were  forced  to  sit  together  on 


the  tenement-house  stairs,  amid  the  coming  and 
going  of  sympathetic  and  excited  neighbors, 
and  all  the  passing  and  repassing  of  the  twenty 
other  families  that  the  house  sheltered.  It 
would  have  been  impossible  for  anyone  to  offer, 
in  the  midst  of  that  curious  though  not  ill- 
meaning  crowd,  the  solace  she  so  sadly  needed. 

Emotional  experiences  cannot  be  made  pub- 
lic without  danger  of  blunting  or  coarsening  the 
fiber  of  character.  Privacy  is  needed  for  inti- 
mate talks,  even  between  mother  and  daughter. 
The  casual  nature  of  the  employment  of  the 
unskilled  has  also  its  bearing  upon  the  family 
relationship.  The  name  or  address  of  the  place 
of  employment  of  the  various  members  of  the 
family  is  often  not  known.  "  How  could  I 
know  Louisa  was  in  trouble?'  said  a  simple 
mother  of  our  neighborhood.  '  She  is  a  good 
girl  to  me.  I  don't  know  where  she  works.  I 
don't  know  her  friends." 

And  the  wide  span  that  stretches  between  the 
conventions  of  one  generation  and  another 
must  also  be  reckoned  with.  The  clash  between 
them,  unhappily  familiar  to  many  whose  expe- 
riences never  become  known  outside  the  family 
circle,  is  likely  to  be  intensified  when  the 
Americanized  wage-earning  son  or  daughter 
reverses  the  relationship  of  child  and  parent 
by  becoming  the  protector  and  the  link  between 



the  outside  world  and  the  home.  The  service 
of  the  settlement  as  interpreter  seems  in  this 
narrower  sphere  almost  as  useful  as  its  attempts 
to  bring  about  understanding  between  separated 
sections  of  society. 

One  evening  an  eloquent  speaker  addressing 
a  senior  group  dwelt  upon  the  hardships  of 
the  older  people  and 
the  obligations  of 
their  children  to 
them.  The  young 
women  lingered  aft- 
er the  speaker  had 
gone,  discussing  the 
lecture  and  apply- 
ing it  to  themselves. 
Though  sensitive  to 
the  appeal,  they  were 
loath  to  relinquish 
their  right  to  self-expression.  One  girl  thought 
her  parents  demanded  an  impossible  sacrifice 
by  insisting  on  living  in  a  street  to  which  she 
was  ashamed  to  bring  her  associates.  The  par- 
ents refused  to  leave  the  quarter  where  their 
countrymen  dwelt,  and  although  the  daughter 
willingly  gave  her  earnings  and  paid  tribute 
to  her  mother's  devotion  and  housekeeping  skill, 
she  said  she  felt  irritated  and  mortified  everv 


time  she  returned  to  her  home. 


Quite  naturally  it  came  about  in  the  begin- 
ning of  our  understanding  of  the  young  people 
that  we  should  take  some  action  to  protect 
them  from  the  disastrous  consequences  of  their 
ignorance;  for  it  is  difficult  for  the  mothers  to 
touch  upon  certain  themes  of  great  import. 
They  are  not  indifferent,  but  rather  helpless, 
in  the  face  of  the  modern  city's  demands  upon 
motherhood.  Rarely  do  they  feel  adequate  to 
meet  them.  Yet  tliey  desire  that  their  girls, 
and  the  boys  too,  should  be  guarded  from  the 
clangers  that  threaten  them. 

Years  ago  we  invited  the  school  teachers  of 
the  neighborhood  to  a  conference  on  sex  prob- 
lems and  offered  them  speakers  and  literature. 
The  public  has  since  then  become  aroused  on 
the  subject  of  sex  hygiene,  and  possibly,  in 
some  instances,  the  pendulum  has  swung  too 
far;  but  we  are  convinced  that  this  obligation  to 
the  young  cannot  be  ignored  without  assuming 
grave  risks.  Never  have  I  known  an  unfavor- 
able reaction  when  the  presentation  of  this 
subject  has  been  well  considered.  It  is  im- 
possible to  give  directions  as  to  how  it  should 
be  done;  temperament,  development,  and  en- 
vironment influence  the  approach.  The  girl 
invariably  responds  to  the  glorification  of  her 
importance  as  woman  and  as  future  mother, 
and  the  theme  leads  on  naturally  to  the  miracle 



of  nature  that  guards  and  then  creates;  and 
the  young  men  have  shown  themselves  far  from 
indifferent  to  their  future  fatherhood.  Fathers 
and  mothers  should  be  qualified,  and  an  increas- 
ing number  are  trying  to  take  this  duty  upon 
themselves;  but  where  the  parents  confess  their 
helplessness  the  duty  plainly  devolves  upon 
those  who  have  established  confidential  rela- 
tions with  the  members  of  the  family. 

At  Riverholm. 

(To  a  Young  Girl) 

Say  whither,  whither,  pretty  one  ? 
The  hour  is  young  at  present! 
How  hushed  is  all  the  world  around ! 
Ere  dawn — the  streets  hold  not  a  sound. 
O  whither,  whither  do  you  run? 
Sleep  at  this  hour  is  pleasant. 
The  flowers  are  dreaming,  dewy-wet; 
The  bird-nests  they  are  silent  yet. 
Where  to,  before  the  rising  sun 
The  world  her  light  is  giving? 


To  earn  a  living." 

O  whither,  whither,  pretty  child, 

So  late  at  night  a-strolling? 

Alone — with  darkness  round  you  curled  ? 

All  rests  ! — and  sleeping  is  the  world. 

Where  drives  you  now  the  wind  so  wild? 

The  midnight  bells  are  tolling! 

Day  hath  not  warmed  you  with  her  light ; 

What  aid  canst  hope  then  from  the  night  ? 

Night's  deaf  and  blind ! — Oh,  whither,  child, 

Light-minded  fancies  weaving? 

:  To  earn  a  living." 

[From  "Songs  of  Labor"  by  Morris 
Rosenfeld,  translated  by  Rose  Pastor 
Stokes  and  Helena  Frank.] 


THE  portrayal  of  youth  in  a  neighborhood  such 
as  ours  cannot  be  dissociated  from  labor  con- 
ditions, and  it  was  not  incongruous  that  some 
of  the  deeper  implications  of  this  problem 
should  have  been  brought  to  us  by  young 

In  the  early  nineties  nothing  in  the  expe- 
rience or  education  of  young  people  not  in 
labor  circles  prepared  them  to  understand  the 
movement  among  working  people  for  labor 
organization.  Happily  for  our  democracy  and 
the  breadth  of  our  culture,  that  could  not  be 
so  sweepingly  said  to-day.  Schools,  colleges, 
leagues  for  political  education,  clubs,  and  asso- 
ciations bring  this  subject  now  to  the  attention 
of  pupils  and  the  public. 

Our  neighbors  in  the  Jefferson  Street  tene- 
ment where  we  at  first  lived  had,  like  ourselves, 
little  time  for  purely  social  intercourse.  With 
the  large  family  on  the  floor  below  we  had  es- 
tablished a  stairway  acquaintance.  We  had  re- 
marked the  tidy  appearance  of  a  daughter  of 



the  house,  and  wondered  how,  with  her  long 
hours  of  work,  she  was  able  to  accomplish  it, — 
for  we  knew  our  own  struggle  to  keep  up  a 
standard  of  beauty  and  order.  We  often  saw 
her  going  out  in  the  evening  with  books  under 
her  arm,  and  surmised  that  she  attended  night 
school.  She  called  one  evening,  and  our  pleas- 

ure  was  mingled  with  consternation  to  learn 
that  she  wished  aid  in  organizing  a  trades  union. 
Even  the  term  was  unknown  to  me.  She  spoke 
without  bitterness  of  the  troubles  of  her  shop- 
mates,  and  tried  to  make  me  see  why  they 
thought  a  union  would  bring  them  relief.  It 
was  evident  that  she  came  to  me  because  of 
her  faith  that  one  who  spoke  English  so  easily 
would  know  how  to  organize  in  the  "  Ameri- 


can  '  way,  and  perhaps  with  a  hope  that  the 
union  might  gain  respectability  from  the  alli- 
ance. We  soon  learned  that  one  great  obstacle 
to  the  organization  of  young  women  in  the 
trades  was  a  fear  on  their  part  that  it  would 
be  considered  "  unladylike/'  and  might  even 
militate  against  their  marriage. 

The  next  day  I  managed  to  find  time  to  visit 
the  library  for  academic  information  on  the 
subject  of  trades  unions.  That  evening,  in  a 
basement  in  a  nearby  street,  I  listened  to  the 
broken  English  of  the  cigarmaker  who  was 
trying  to  help  the  girls;  and  it  was  interesting 
to  find  that  what  he  gave  them  was  neither 
more  nor  less  than  the  philosophic  argument 
of  the  book  I  had  consulted, — that  collective 
power  might  be  employed  to  insure  justice  for 
the  individual  himself  powerless. 

The  girls  had  real  grievances,  for  which 
they  blamed  their  forewoman.  One  or  two 
who  tried  to  reach  the  owner  of  the  factory 
had  been  dismissed, — at  the  instance  of  the 
forewoman,  they  believed.  It  was  determined 
to  send  a  committee  to  present  their  complaints 
and  to  stand  by  the  girls  who  were  appointed 
on  it. 

The  union  organized  that  night  did  not  last 
very  long,  for  the  stability  of  the  personnel  of 
the  trades  union,  particularly  among  women, 


cannot  always  be  reckoned  on.  People  as  yet 
step  from  class  to  class  in  America  with  ease 
as  compared  to  other  countries,  and  this  has 
obvious  democratic  advantages;  but  it  is  not 
so  fortunate  for  the  trade  organizations  or  for 
the  standardization  of  the  trade  itself,  which  is 
thus  continually  recruited  from  the  inexperi- 
enced. There  is  a  flux  among  the  workers,  the 
union  officials,  and  the  employers  themselves. 
Among  women,  the  more  or  less  ephemeral 
character  of  much  of  their  work,  their  fre- 
quent change  of  occupation,  and  marriage,  all 
operate  against  permanency.  The  girl  who 
knocked  at  our  door  that  night,  to  invite  us 
to  our  first  trades  union  meeting,  is  now  in  a 

Later,  when  we  moved  to  Henry  Street, 
Minnie,  who  lived  in  the  next  block,  enlisted 
our  sympathy  in  her  efforts  to  organize  the 
girls  in  her  trade.  She  based  her  arguments  for 
shorter  hours  on  their  need  of  time  to  acquire 
knowledge  of  housekeeping  and  home-making 
before  marriage  and  motherhood  came  to  them, 
touching  instinctively  a  fundamental  argument 
against  excessive  hours  for  women. 

We  invited  Minnie  to  a  conference  of  philan- 
thropists on  methods  for  improving  the  condi- 
tion of  working  girls,  in  order  that  she  might 
give  her  conception  of  what  would  be  advan- 



tageous.  Representatives  of  the  various  socie- 
ties reported  on  their  work:  vacations  provided, 
seats  in  stores,  religious  instruction,  and  so  on. 
"  We  are  the  hands  of  the  boss/'  said  Minnie 
when  her  turn  came.  "  What  does  he  care  for 
us?  I  say,  Let  our  hands  be  for  him  and  our 
heads  for  ourselves.  We  must  work  for  bread 
now,  but  we  must  think  of  our  future  homes. 
What  time  has  a  working  girl  to  make  ready 
for  this?  We  never  see 
a  meal  prepared.  For 
all  we  know,  soup  grows 
on  trees." 

Minnie,  who  was  head- 
lined by  the  press  during 
a  strike  as  a  Joan  of  Arc 
leading  militant  hosts  to 
battle,  had  no  educational  preparation  for  lead- 
ership; no  equipment  beyond  her  sound  good 
sense  and  her  woman's  subtlety.  Speaking  once 
of  the  difficulty  of  earning  a  living  without 
training,  she  told  me  that  her  mother  could 
do  nothing  but  sell  potatoes  from  a  push-cart 
in  the  street,  "  among  those  rough  people." 
Then,  repenting  of  her  harshness,  "  Of  course, 
some  of  those  people  must  be  nice,  too,  but  it 
is  hard  to  find  a  diamond  in  the  mud." 

Frequent   and   prolonged   conferences   at   the 
settlement  with  Minnie  and  Lottie,  her  equally 


intelligent  companion,  and  with  many  others, 
inevitably  led  to  some  action  on  our  part;  and 
long  anticipating  the  Women's  Trades  Union 
League,  we  took  the  initiative  in  organizing  a 
union  at  the  time  of  a  strike  in  the  cloak  trade. 
The  eloquence  of  the  girl  leaders,  the  charm  of 

our  back  yard  as  a  meet- 
ing-place, and  possibly  our 
own  conviction  that  on- 
ly through  organization 
could  wages  be  raised  and 
shop  conditions  improved, 
finally  prevailed,  and  the 
union  was  organized.  One 
of  our  residents  and  a  bril- 
liant young  Yiddish-speak- 
ing neighbor  took  upon 
themselves  some  of  the 
duties  of  the  walking  dele- 
gate. When  the  strike 
was  settled,  and  agree- 
ments for  the  season  were  about  to  be  signed 
by  the  contractors  (or  middlemen)  and  the 
leader  of  the  men's  organization,  I  was  in- 
vited into  a  smoke-filled  room  in  Walhalla  Hall 
long  after  midnight,  to  be  told  that  the  girls 
were  included  in  the  terms  of  the  contract. 

Though    its    immediate    object    was    accom- 
plished,    this    union     also    proved    to     be     an 


ephemeral  organization.  For  years  I  held  the 
funds,  amounting  to  sixteen  dollars,  because  the 
members  had  scattered  and  we  could  never 
assemble  a  quorum  to  dispose  of  the  money. 

When,  in  1903,  I  was  asked  to  participate  in 
the  formation  of  the  National  Women's  Trades 
Union  League,  I  recognized  the  importance  of 
the  movement  in  enlisting  sympathy  and  sup- 
port for  organizations  among  working  women. 
To  my  regret  I  cannot  claim  to  have  rendered 
services  of  any  value  in  the  development  of  the 
League.  It  was  inevitable  that  its  purpose,  as 
epitomized  in  its  motto — "  The  Eight-hour 
Day;  A  Living  Wage;  To  Guard  the  Home  " — 
should  draw  to  it  effective  participants  and 
develop  strong  leaders  among  working  women 
themselves.  Those  who  are  familiar  with  fac- 
tory and  shop  conditions  are  convinced  that 
through  organization  and  not  through  the 
appeal  to  pity  can  permanent  reforms  be  as- 
sured. It  is  undoubtedly  true  that  the  enforce- 
ment of  existing  laws  is  in  large  measure  de- 
pendent upon  watchful  trades  unions.  The 
women's  trades  union  leagues,  national  and 
state,  are  not  only  valuable  because  of  support 
given  to  the  workers,  but  because  they  make  it 
possible  for  women  other  than  wage-earners  to 
identify  themselves  with  working  people,  and 
thus  give  practical  expression  to  their  belief 


that  with  them  and  through  them  the  realization 
of  the  ideals  of  democracy  can  be  advanced. 

The  imagination  of  New  Yorkers  has  been 
fired  from  time  to  time  by  young  working 
women  who  have  had  no  little  influence  in  help- 
ing to  rouse  public  interest  in  labor  conditions. 
My  associates  and  I,  in  the  early  years  of  the 
settlement,  owed  much  to  a  mother  and  daugh- 
ter of  singularly  lofty  mind  and  character,  both 
working  women,  who  for  a  time  joined  the  set- 
tlement family.  They  had  been  affiliated  with 
labor  organizations  almost  all  their  lives.  The 
ardor  of  the  daughter  continually  prodded  us 
to  action,  and  the  clear-minded,  intellectual 
mother  helped  us  to  a  completer  realization  of 
the  deep-lying  causes  that  had  inspired  Maz- 
zini  and  other  great  leaders,  whose  works  we 
were  re-reading. 

More  recently  a  young  capmaker  has  stimu- 
lated recognition  of  the  public's  responsibility 
for  the  well-being  of  the  young  worker.  De- 
spite her  long  hours,  she  found  time  to  organize 
a  union  in  her  trade,  not  in  a  spurt  of  enthusi- 
asm, but  as  a  result  of  a  sober  realization  that 
women  workers  must  stand  together  for  them- 
selves and  for  those  who  come  after  them. 

The  inquiry  that  followed  the  disastrous  fire 
in  the  factory  of  the  Triangle  Waist  Company 


in  March,  1911,  when  one  hundred  and  forty- 
three  girls  were  burned,  or  leaped  from  win- 
dows to  their  death,  disclosed  the  fact  that  the 
owners  of  this  factory,  like  many  others,  kept 
the  doors  of  the  lofts  locked.  Hundreds  of 
girls,  many  stories  above  the  streets,  were  thus 
cut  off  from  access  to  stairs  or  fire-escapes  be- 
cause of  the  fear  of  small  thefts  of  material. 
The  girls  in  this  factory  had  tried,  a  short  time 
before  the  fire,  to  organize  a  union  to  protest 
against  bad  shop  conditions  and  petty  tyran- 

After  the  tragedy,  at  a  meeting  in  the  Met- 
ropolitan Opera  House  called  together  by  hor- 
rified men  and  women  of  the  city,  this  young 
capmaker  stood  at  the  edge  of  the  great  opera- 
house  stage  and  in  a  voice  hardly  raised,  though 
it  reached  every  person  in  that  vast  audience, 
arraigned  society  for  regarding  human  life  so 
cheaply.  No  one  could  have  been  insensitive  to 
her  cry  for  justice,  her  anguish  over  the  youth 
so  ruthlessly  destroyed;  and  there  must  have 
been  many  in  that  audience  for  whom  ever  after 
the  little,  brown-clad  figure  with  the  tragic 
voice  symbolized  the  factory  girl  in  the  lofts 
high  above  the  streets  of  an  indifferent 

Before  the  fire  the  "  shirt-waist  strike  '  had 
brought  out  a  wave  of  popular  sympathy.  This 


was  due  in,part  to  the  youth  of  a  majority  of 
the  workers,  to  a  realization  of  the  heroic  sacri- 
fices some  of  them  were  making  (an  inkling  of 
which  got  to  the  public),  and  in  part  also  to 
disapproval  of  the  methods  used  to  break  the 
strike.  Fashionable  women's  clubs  held  meet- 
ings to  hear  the  story  from  the  lips  of  girl 
strikers  themselves,  and  women  gave  voice  to 
their  disapproval  of  judges  who  sentenced  the 
young  strikers  to  prison,  where  they  were  asso- 
ciated— often  sharing  the  same  cells — with 
criminals  and  prostitutes.  Little  wonder  that 
women  who  had  never  known  the  bitterness  of 
poverty  or  oppression  found  satisfaction  in  pick- 
eting side  by  side  with  the  working  girls  who 
were  paying  the  great  cost  of  the  strike.  Many, 
among  them  settlement  residents,  readily  went 
bail  or  paid  fines  for  the  girls  who  were  ar- 

Cruel  and  dramatic  exploitation  of  workers 
is  in  the  main  a  thing  of  the  past,  but  the  more 
subtle  injuries  of  modern  industry,  due  to  over- 
strain, speeding-up,  and  a  minimum  of  leisure, 
have  only  recently  attracted  attention.  It  is 
barely  three  years  (1912)  since  the  New  York 
Factory  Law  was  amended  to  prohibit  the  em- 
ployment of  girls  over  sixteen  for  more  than 
ten  hours  in  one  day  or  fifty-four  hours  a  week. 




The  legislation  reflected  the  new  compunction 
of  the  community  concerning  these  workers, 
though  unlimited  hours  are  still  permitted  in 
stores  during  the  Christmas  season. 

Few  people  realize  what  even  a  ten-hour  day 
means,  especially  when  the 
worker  lives  at  a  distance 
from  the  shop  or  factory 
and  additional  hours  must 
be  spent  in  going  to  and 
from  the  place  of  employ- 
ment. And  in  New  York 
travel  during  the  rush  hours 
may  mean  standing  the  en- 
tire distance. 

Working  girls,  in  their 
own  vernacular,  have  "  two 
jobs."  Those  who  have 
long  hours  and  poor  pay 
must  live  at  the  cheapest 
rate.  Often  they  are  not 
able  to  pay  for  more  than 
part  use  of  a  bed,  and  however  generous  may  be 
the  provision  of  working  girls*  hotels,  the  low- 
paid  workers  are  not  able  to  avail  themselves 
of  these.  The  girl  who  receives  the  least  wage 
must  live  down  to  the  bone,  cook  her  own 
meals,  wash  and  iron  her  own  shirt-waists,  at- 
tend to  all  the  necessary  details  for  her  home 


and  person,  and  this  after  the  long  day.  The 
cheapest  worker  is  also  likely  to  be  the  over- 
time worker,  a  fact  that  is  most  obvious  to 
the  public  at  Christmas  time. 

The  Factory  Investigating  Commission,  ap- 
pointed after  the  Triangle  fire  to  recommend 
measures  for  safety,  was  continued  for  the 
purpose  of  inquiry  into  the  wages  of  labor 
throughout  the  state  and  also  into  the  advisa- 
bility of  establishing  a  minimum  wage  rate. 
The  reports  of  the  commission,  the  public 
hearings,  and  the  invaluable  contributions  to 
current  periodicals  are  enlightening  the  com- 
munity on  the  social  perils  due  to  giving  a  wage 
less  than  the  necessary  cost  of  decent  living; 
and  as  the  great  majority  of  employees  con- 
cerning whom  this  information  has  been  gath- 
ered are  young  girls,  the  appeal  to  the  public 
is  bound  to  bring  recommendations  for  safety 
in  this  respect.  The  dullness  of  life  when  pet- 
tiest economies  must  be  forever  practiced  has 
also  been  well  pictured  in  the  testimony  brought 
out  by  the  commission. 

In  these  chapters  I  have  sought  to  portray 
the  youth  of  our  neighborhood  at  its  more  con- 
scious and  responsible  period,  when  the  age  of 
greatest  incorrigibility  (said  to  be  between  thir- 
teen and  sixteen)  has  been  passed.  Labor  dis- 


cussions  and  solemn  conferences  on  social  prob- 
lems may  seem  an  incongruous  background  for 
a  picture  of  youth.  Happily,  its  gayety  is  not 
easily  suppressed,  and  comforting  reassurance 
lies  in  the  fact  that  recreation  has  ever  for 
the  young  its  strong  and  legitimate  appeal; 

that  art  and  music  carry  their  message,  and 
that  the  public  conscience  which  recognizes  the 
requirements  of  youth  is  reflected  in  the  increas- 
ing provision  for  its  pleasures.  Wider  use  of 
school  buildings/'  "  recreation  directors,"  '  so- 
cial centers,"  "  municipal  dances,"  are  new 
terms  that  have  crept  into  our  vocabularies. 
Though  the  Italians  have  brought  charming 


festas  into  our  city  streets,  it  was  not  until  I 
admired  the  decorations  that  enhance  the  pic- 
turesque streets  of  Japan,  and  enjoyed  the  sight 
of  the  gay  dancers  on  the  boulevards  of  Paris 
on  the  day  in  July  when  the  French  celebrate, 
that  it  occurred  to  me  that  we  might  bring 
color  and  gayety  to  the  streets — even  the  ugly 
streets — of  New  York.  For  years  Henry  Street 
has  had  its  dance  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  and 
the  city  and  citizens  share  in  the  preparation 
and  expense.  The  asphalt  is  put  in  good  con- 
dition (once,  for  the  very  special  occasion  of 
the  settlement's  twentieth  birthday,  the  city 
officials  hastened  a  contemplated  renewal  of  the 
asphalt) ;  the  street-cleaning  department  gives 
an  extra  late-afternoon  cleaning  and  keeps  a 
white  uniformed  sweeper  on  duty  during  the 
festivity;  the  police  department  loans  the 
stanchions  and  the  park  department  the  rope; 
the  Edison  Company  illuminates  with  generos- 
ity; from  the  tenements  and  the  settlement 
houses  hang  the  flags  and  the  bunting  stream- 
ers, and  the  neighbors — all  of  us  together — pay 
for  the  band.  Asphalt,  when  swept  and  cleaned, 
makes  an  admirable  dancing  floor,  and  to  this 
street  dance  come  all  the  neighbors  and  their 
friends.  The  children  play  games  to  the  music 
in  their  roped-off  section,  the  young  people 
dance,  and  all  are  merry.  The  first  year  of  the 










i—  i 



O   H 

U  S5 

W  J 

OS  H 

H  H 

C/3  W 














experiment  the  friendly  captain  of  the  precinct 
asked  what  protection  was  needed.  We  had 
courage  and  faith  to  request  that  no  officer 
should  be  added  to  the  regular  man  on  the 
beat,  and  the  good  conduct  of  the  five  or  six 
thousand  who  danced  or  were  spectators  en- 
tirely justified  the  faith  and  the  courage. 

The  protective  legislation,  the  new  terms  in 
our  vocabulary,  and  the  dance  on  the  street  are 
but  symbols  of  the  acceptance  by  the  com- 
munity of  its  responsibility  for  protecting  and 
nurturing  its  precious  possession, — the  youth  of 
the  city. 


WHEN  we  came  to  Henry  Street,  the  appear- 
ance of  a  carriage  before  the  door  caused  some 
commotion,  and  members  of  the  settlement  re- 
turning to  the  house  would  be  met  by  excited 
little  girls  who  announced,  "  You's  got  a  wed- 
ding by  you.  There's  a  carriage  there."  It 
was  taken  for  granted  in  those  days  that  noth- 
ing short  of  a  wedding  would  justify  such  mag- 

In  one  way  or  another  we  were  continually 
reminded  of  the  paramount  importance  of  the 
wedding  in  the  life  of  the  neighborhood. 
"What!'  said  a  shocked  father  to  whom  I  ex- 
pressed my  occidental  revolt  against  insistence 
upon  his  daughter's  marriage  to  a  man  who 
was  brought  by  the  professional  matchmaker 
and  was  a  stranger  to  the  girl;  "let  a  girl  of 
seventeen,  with  no  judgment  whatsoever,  de- 
cide on  anything  so  important  as  a  husband?' 
But  as  youth  asserts  itself  under  the  new  con- 
ditions, the  Schadchen,  or  marriage-broker,  no 

longer  occupies  an  important  position. 



When  we  first  visited  families  in  the  tene- 
ments, we  might  have  been  misled  as  to  the 
decline  in  the  family  fortunes  if  we  judged 

••PI  yrA<mm*w'f<»w,yn    "jwtvt* 

their  previous  estate  by  the  photographs  hung 
high  on  the  walls  of  the  poor  homes,  of  bride 
and  groom,  splendidly  arrayed  for  the  wedding 
ceremony.  But  we  learned  that  the  costumes 
had  been  rented  and  the  photographs  taken, 


partly  that  the  couple  might  keep  a  reminder 
of  the  splendor  of  that  brief  hour,  and  also 
that  relations  on  the  other  side  of  the  water 
might  be  impressed  with  their  prosperity. 

Since  those  days  the  neighborhood  has  become 
more  sophisticated,  and  brides  are  more  likely 
to  make  their  own  wedding  gowns,  often  ex- 
hibiting good  taste  as  well  as  skill;  though  the 
shop  windows  in  the  foreign  quarters  still  dis- 
play waxen  figures  of  modishly  attired  bride 
and  groom,  with  alluring  announcements  of 
the  low  rates  at  which  the  garments  may  be 

We  were  invited  to  many  weddings,  and  often 
pitied  the  little  bride  who,  having  fasted  all  day 
as  required  by  orthodox  custom,  went  wearily 
through  the  intricate  ceremony,  reminiscent  of 
tribal  days.  One  bride  to  whom  we  offered  our 
congratulations  accepted  them  without  enthusi- 
asm, and  added,  'Tain't  no  such  easy  thing 
to  get  married." 

The  younger  generation,  born  in  America, 
whose  loyalty  and  affection  for  their  elders  is 
unimpaired  by  the  changed  conditions,  but  for 
whom  the  old  symbols  and  customs  have  no 
longer  a  religious  meaning,  often  submit  to  the 
orthodox  wedding  ceremony  out  of  deference 
to  the  wishes  of  the  parents  and  grandparents. 

The   ceremony  in  the  rented  hall    (where   it 



takes  place  owing  to  the  physical  limitations  of 
the  home)  loses  some  of  its  dignity,  however 
much  it  may  have  of  warmth  and  affection.  To 
the  weddings  come  all  the  family,  from  the  aged 
grandparents  to  the  youngest  grandchildren. 
Before  the  evening  is  over  the  babies  are  asleep 
in  the  arms  of  their  parents  or  under  the  care 
of  the  old  woman  in  attendance 
in  the  cloak-room. 

At  a  typical  wedding  of  twenty 
years  ago  the  supper  was  spread 
in  the  basement  of  one  of  the 
public  halls,  and  the  incongruities 
were  not  more  painfully  obvious 
to  us  than  to  the  delicate-minded 
bride.  The  rabbi  chanted  the 
blessings,  and  the  '  poet '  sang  old  Jewish  leg- 
ends, weaving  in  stories  of  the  families  united 
that  evening.  We  were  moved  almost  to  tears 
by  the  pathos  of  these  exiles  clinging  to  the 
poetic  traditions  of  the  past  amid  filthy  sur- 
roundings; for  the  tables  were  encompassed  by 
piles  of  beer  kegs,  with  their  suggestion  of  drink 
so  foreign  to  the  people  gathered  there;  and 
men  and  women  who  were  not  guests  came  and 
went  to  the  dressing-rooms  that  opened  into 
the  dining-hall.  Every  time  we  attended  a  wed- 
ding it  shocked  us  anew  that  these  sober  and 
right-behaving  people  were  obliged  to  use  for 


their  social  functions  the  offensive  halls  over  or 
behind  saloons,  because  there  were  no  others  to 
be  had. 

An  incident  a  few  days  after  my  coming  to 
the  East  Side  had  first  brought  to  my  attention 
the  question  of  meeting-places  for  the  people. 
As  usual  in  hard  times,  it  was  difficult  for  the 
unhappy,  dissatisfied  unemployed  to  find  a  place 
for  the  discussion  of  their  troubles.  Spontane- 
ous gatherings  were  frequent  that  summer,  and 
in  one  of  them,  described  by  the  papers  next 
morning  as  a  street  riot,  I  accidentally  found 

It  was  no  more  than  an  attempt  of  men  out 
of  work  to  get  together  and  talk  over  their  situ- 
ation. They  had  no  money  for  the  rent  of  a 
meeting-place,  and  having  been  driven  by  the 
police  from  the  street  corners,  they  tried  to 
get  into  an  unoccupied  hall  on  Grand  Street. 
Rough  handling  by  the  police  stirred  them  to 
retaliation,  and  show  of  clubs  was  met  by  mis- 
siles— pieces  of  smoked  fish  snatched  from  a 
nearby  stand  kept  by  an  old  woman.  Violence 
and  ill-feeling  might  have  been  averted  by  the 
simple  expedient  of  permitting  them  to  meet  un- 
molested. Instinctively  I  realized  this,  and  felt 
for  my  purse,  but  I  had  come  out  with  only 
sufficient  carfare  to  carry  me  on  my  rounds, 
and  an  unknown,  impecunious  young  woman  in 


a  nurse's  cotton  dress  was  not  in  a  position  to 
speak  convincingly  on  the  subject  of  renting 

Later,  when  I  visited  London,  I  could  under- 
stand the  wisdom  of  non-interference  with  the 
well-known  Hyde  Park  meetings.  It  is  encour- 
aging to  note  that  common  sense  is  touching 
the  judgment  of  New  York's  officials  regarding 
the  right  of  the  people  to  meet  and  speak 

Other  occurrences  of  those  early  days  pointed 
to  the  need  of  some  place  of  assemblage  other 
than  the  unclean  rooms  connected  with  saloons. 
Walhalla  Hall,  on  Orchard  Street,  famous  long 
ago  as  a  meeting-place  for  labor  organizations, 
provided  them  with  accommodations  not  more 
appropriate  than  those  I  have  described.  When 
from  time  to  time  a  settlement  resident  helped 
to  hide  beer  kegs  with  impromptu  decorations, 
we  pledged  ourselves  that  whenever  it  came  into 
our  power  we  would  provide  a  meeting-place 
for  social  functions  and  labor  gatherings  and  a 
forum  for  public  debate  that  would  not  sac- 
rifice the  dignity  of  those  who  used  it.  Our 
own  settlement  rooms  were  bv  that  time  in 


constant  service  for  the  neighborhood;  but  it 
was  plain  that  even  if  we  could  have  given  them 
up  entirely  to  such  purposes,  a  place  entirely 
free  from  "  auspices  '  and  to  be  rented — not 


given  under  favor — was  required.  Prince  Kro- 
potkin,  then  on  a  visit  to  America,  urged  upon 
me  the  wisdom  of  keeping  a  people  free  by 
allowing  freedom  of  speech,  and  of  respecting 
their  assemblages  by  affording  dignified  accom- 
modations for  them. 

It   was    curious,   when   one   realized   it,   that 

recognition  of  the  normal,  wholesome  impulse 
of  young  people  to  congregate  should  also  have 
been  left  to  the  saloon-keeper,  and  the  young 
lads  who  frequented  undesirable  places  were 
often  wholly  unaware  that  they  themselves 
were,  to  use  their  own  diction,  "  easy  marks/' 

A  genial  red-haired  lad,  a  teamster  by  trade, 
referred  with  pride  to  his  ability  as  a  boxer. 
In  answer  to  pointed  questions  as  to  where  and 


how  he  acquired  his  skill,  he  said  a  saloon- 
keeper, '  an  awful  good  sport,"  allowed  the 
boys  to  use  his  back  room.  Fortunately  the 
"  good  sport's'  saloon  was  at  some  distance; 
and,  suggesting  that  it  must  be  a  bore  to  go 
so  far  after  a  day's  hard  work,  I  offered  to  pro- 
vide a  room  and  a  professional  to  coach  them 
on  fine  points  if  James  thought  the  "  fellows  ' 
would  care  for  it.  A  call  next  morning  at  the 
office  of  the  Children's  Aid  Society  resulted  in 
permission  to  put  to  this  service  an  unused  part 
of  a  nearby  building,  and  during  the  day  a 
promising  boxer  was  engaged.  James  had  not 
waited  to  inquire  if  I  had  either  the  room  or 
trainer  ready,  and  appeared  the  next  evening 
with  a  list  of  young  men  for  the  club. 

Some  weeks  later  a  "  throw-away,"  a  small 
handbill  to  announce  events,  came  into  my 
hands.  It  read: 


Grand  Annual  Ball  of  the  of  the 

Nurses'  Settlement.1 

The  date  was  given  and  the  price  of  admis- 
sion "with  wardrobe";2  and  to  my  horror  the 

*We  have  been  popularly  known  as  the  Nurses'  Settlement,  but 
our  corporate  name  is  The  Henry  Street  Settlement. — THE  AUTHOR. 
2  Hat  and  coat  checked  without  charge. 


place  designated  for  this  function  was  a  no- 
torious hall  on  the  Bowery,  its  door  adjacent 
to  one  opening  into  "  Suicide  Hall,"  so  desig- 
nated because  of  several  self-murders  recently 
committed  there.  There  was  a  great  deal  of 
mystery  about  the  object  of  the  ball,  and  the 
instructor,  guileless  in  almost  everything  but  the 
art  of  boxing,  reluctantly  betrayed  the  secret. 
They  had  in  mind  to  make  a  large  sum  of  money 
and  with  it  buy  me  a  present.  They  dreamed 
of  a  writing-desk.  It  was  a  difficult  situation, 
but  the  young  men,  their  chivalrous  instincts 
touched,  reacted  to  my  little  speech  and  seemed 
to  comprehend  that  it  would  be  embarrassing 
to  the  ladies  of  the  settlement  to  be  placed  under 
the  implication  of  profiting  by  the  sale  of  liquor, 
— though  this  was  delicate  ground  to  tread 
upon,  since  members  of  the  families  of  several 
of  the  club  boys  were  bartenders  or  in  the 
saloon  business;  but  the  name  of  the  settle- 
ment had  been  used  to  advertise  the  ball,  and 
1  there  was  something  in  it.'3 

To  emphasize  my  point  and  to  relieve  them 
of  complications,  since  they  had  contracted  for 
the  use  of  the  place,  I  offered  to  pay  the  owner 
of  the  hall  a  sum  of  money  (one  hundred  dol- 
lars, as  I  recall  it)  if  he  would  keep  the  bar 
closed  on  the  night  of  the  dance;  and  I  pledged 
the  young  men  that  we  would  all  attend  and 


help  to  make  the  ball  a  success  if  we  could 
compromise  in  this  manner.  The  owner  of  the 
hall,  however,  as  some  of  the  more  worldly- 
wise  members  had  prophesied,  scoffed  at  my 

Public  halls  are  the  most  common  way  of 
making  money  for  a  desired  end.  Sometimes 
ephemeral  organizations  are  created  to  "  run ' 
them  and  divide  the  profits  that  may  accrue. 
At  other  times,  like  the  fashionable  "  Charity ' 
balls,  the  object  is  to  raise  money  for  a  benefi- 
cent purpose.  It  required  some  readjustment  of 
the  ordinary  association  of  ideas  to  purchase 
without  comment  the  tickets  offered  at  the  door 
of  the  settlement  for  a  "  grand  ball,"  the  pro- 
ceeds of  which  were  to  provide  a  tombstone  for 
a  departed  friend. 

It  was  soon  clear  to  us  that  an  entirely  inno- 
cent and  natural  desire  for  recreation  afforded 
continual  opportunity  for  the  overstimulation 
of  the  senses  and  for  dangerous  exploitation. 
Later,  when  the  question  could  be  formally 
brought  to  the  notice  of  the  public,  men  and 
women  whose  minds  had  been  turned  to  the 
evils  of  the  dance-halls  and  the  causes  of  social 
unrest  responded  to  our  appeal,  and  the  Social 
Halls  Association  was  organized. 

Clinton  Hall,  a  handsome,  fireproof  structure, 


was  erected  on  Clinton  Street  in  1904.  It  pro- 
vides meeting-rooms  for  trades  unions,  lodges, 
and  benefit  societies;  an  auditorium  and  ball- 
room, poolrooms,  dining-halls,  and  kitchens, 
with  provision  for  the  Kosher  preparation  of 
meals.  In  summer  there  is  a  roof  garden,  with 
a  stage  for  dramatic  performances.  The  build- 
ing was  opened  with  a  charming  dance  given 
by  the  young  men  of  the  settlement,  followed 
soon  after  by  a  beautiful  and  impressive  per- 
formance of  the  Ajax  of  Sophocles  by  the  Greeks 
of  New  York. 

The  stock  was  subscribed  for  by  people  of 
means,  by  the  small  merchants  of  the  neigh- 
borhood, and  by  settlement  residents  and  their 
friends.  A  janitress  brought  her  bank  book, 
showing  savings  amounting  to  $200,  with  which 
she  desired  to  purchase  two  shares.  She  was 
with  difficulty  dissuaded  from  the  investment, 
which  I  felt  she  could  not  afford.  When  I  ex- 
plained that  the  people  who  were  subscribing 
for  the  stock  were  prepared  not  to  receive  any 
return  from  it;  that  they  were  risking  the  money 
for  the  sake  of  those  who  were  obliged  to  fre- 
quent undesirable  halls,  Mrs.  H replied, 

That's  just  how  Jim  and  me  feel  about  it. 
We've  been  janitors,  and  we  know."  The  So- 
cial Halls  Association  is  a  business  corporation, 


and     has     its     own     board     of     directors,     of 
which   I   have  been   president  from   the   begin- 


Clinton  Hall  has  afforded  an  excellent  illus- 
tration of  the  psychology  of  suggestion.  The 
fact  that  no  bar  is  in  evidence,  and  no  white- 
aproned  waiters  parade  in  and  out  of  the  ball- 
room or  halls  of  meetings,  has  resulted  in  a 
minimum  consumption  of  liquor,  although,  dur- 
ing the  first  years,  drinks  could  have  been  pur- 
chased by  leaving  the  crowd  and  the  music 
and  sitting  at  a  table  in  a  room  one  floor  below 
the  ballroom.  Leaders  of  rougher  crowds 
than  the  usual  clientele  of  Clinton  Hall,  ac- 
customed to  a  "  rake-off  !  from  the  bar  at  the 
end  of  festivities,  had  to  have  documentary  evi- 
dence of  the  small  sales,  so  incredible  did  it 
seem  to  them  that  the  "  crowd  '  had  drunk  so 

It  has  been  a  disappointment  that  the  income 
has  not  met  the  reasonable  expectations  of  those 
interested.  This  is  due  partly  to  some  mistakes 
of  construction, — not  surprising  since  there  was 
no  precedent  to  guide  us, — largely  to  the  com- 
petition of  places  with  different  standards  which 
derive  profit  from  a  stimulated  sale  of  liquor, 
and  also  partly  to  the  inability,  not  peculiar  to 
our  neighbors,  to  distinguish  between  a  direct 
and  an  indirect  charge.  In  all  other  respects 


the  history  of  this  building  has  justified  our 
faith  that  the  people  are  ready  to  pay  for  de- 
cency. It  is  patronized  by  five  to  six  hundred 
thousand  people  every  year. 


IF  spiritual  force  implies  the  power  to  lift  the 
individual  out  of  the  contemplation  of  his  own 
interests  into  something  great  and  of  ultimate 
value  to  the  men  and  women  of  this  and  the 
generations  to  come,  and  if,  so  lifted,  sacrifices 
are  freely  offered  on  the  altar  of  the  cause,  it 
may  truly  be  said  that  the  Russian  Revolution  is 
a  spiritual  force  on  the  East  Side  of  New  York. 

People  who  all  through  the  day  are  immersed 
in  mundane  affairs,  the  earning  of  money  to  pro- 
vide food  and  shelter,  are  transfigured  at  its 
appeal.  Back  of  the  Russian  Jew's  ardor  for 
the  liberation  of  a  people  from  the  absolutism 
that  provoked  terrorism  lies  also  the  memory  of 
pogroms  and  massacres. 

Though  I  had  agonized  with  my  neighbors 
over  the  tales  that  crossed  the  water  and  the 
pitiful  human  drift  that  came  to  our  shores, 
I  did  not  know  how  far  I  was  from  realizing 
the  depths  of  horror  until  I  saw  at  Ellis  Island 
little  children  with  saber-cuts  on  their  heads 
and  bodies,  mutilated  and  orphaned  at  the 

Kishineff  massacre.     Rescued  by  compassionate 



people,  they  had  been  sent  here  to  be  taken  into 
American  homes. 

The  procession  of  mourners  marching  with 
black-draped  flags  after  the  news  of  the  Bialy- 
stok  massacre,  the  mass-meetings  called  to  give 
expression  to  sorrow  at  the  failure  of  Father 

Gapon's  attempt  to  obtain  a  hearing  for  the 
workingmen  on  that  "Bloody  Sunday"1  when, 
it  will  be  remembered,  the  priest  led  hosts  of 
men,  women,  and  children  carrying  icons  and 
the  Emperor's  picture  to  his  palace,  only  to  be 
fired  upon  by  his  order,  are  some  of  the  events 
that  keep  the  Russian  revolutionary  movement 
a  stirring  propaganda  in  our  quarter  of  New 
York,  at  least. 

Our  contact  with  the  members  of  the  Rus- 

1  January  22,  1905. 


sian  revolutionary  committee  in  New  York  is 
close  enough  to  enable  us  to  be  of  occasional 
service  to  them,  and  some  report  of  our 
trustworthiness  must  have  penetrated  into  the 
prisons,  as  the  letters  we  receive  and  the  exiles 
who  come  to  us  indicate. 

A  volume  might  be  written  of  these  visitors. 
The  share  they  have  taken  in  the  revolutionary 
movement  is  known,  and  their  coming  is  often 
merely  an  assurance  that  hope  still  lives.  The 
young  women,  intrepid  figures,  are  significant 
not  only  of  the  long-continued  struggle  for  po- 
litical deliverance,  but  of  the  historical  progress 
of  womenkind  toward  intellectual  and  social 

When  Dr.  W called  upon  me  he  was  on 

his  way  to  Sakhalin  to  join  his  wife  after  nearly 
twenty  years'  separation.  For  participation  in 
an  act  of  violence  against  an  official  notorious 
for  his  brutality  and  disregard  even  of  Russian 
justice  she  had  been  sentenced  to  death,  but 
the  sentence  had  been  commuted  to  imprison- 
ment in  the  Schliisselburg  fortress,  whither  she 
was  conducted  in  heavy  chains,  and  where  she 
remained  thirteen  years.  Later  she  was  rear- 
rested  and  sentenced  to  exile  for  life.  She  had 
been  for  five  years  in  the  frozen  Siberian  vil- 
lage of  Sakhalin,  when,  in  1898,  her  husband, 
having  seen  their  only  son  established  in  life 


and  settled  his  own  affairs,  obtained  permission 
from  the  government  to  join  his  wife  in  her  exile. 

In  imagination  I  followed  this  cultured,  im- 
pressive-looking man  on  his  long  journey  with  a 
hope  that  was  almost  a  prayer  that  the  reunited 
husband  and  wife  would  find  recompense  in 
their  comradeship  for  all  that  had  been  given 
up  and  that  the  woman's  fine  spirit  would  make 
up  for  whatever  she  might  have  lost  through 
deprivation  of  stimulating  contact  with  her  own 
circle  in  the  world. 

My  interest  caused  me  to  follow  their  subse- 
quent history.  A  few  years  after  Dr.  W 

had  joined  his  wife  they  were  permitted  to  re- 
move to  Vladivostok.  In  1906,  after  the  Oc- 
tober manifesto,  there  was  a  military  revolution- 
ary movement  in  Vladivostok.  The  governor 

gave  the  order  to  fire  and  Madame  W ,  who, 

with  her  husband,  was  watching  the  crowd, 
was  killed  by  a  stray  bullet.  Her  son  is  now 
a  lawyer  in  Petrograd.  Although  separated 
from  his  mother  nearly  all  his  life  he  shows 
his  devotion  to  her  memory  and  his  sympathy 
with  the  cause  by  defending  the  "  politicals ' 
who  come  to  him. 

The    settlement    from    time    to    time    affords 
occasions    for    conference    on    Russian    affairs 


between  influential  Americans  and  visiting  Rus- 
sians who  entertain  hopes  of  reform  by  other 
than  active  revolutionary  methods  and  it  has 
also  given  a  hearing  and  found  sympathetic 
friends  for  other  unhappy  subjects  of  the 

Echoes  came  to  us  of  the  persecution  of  the 
Doukhobors,  a  Russian  religious  communistic 
sect,  whose  creed  bears  resemblance  to  that  of 
the  Friends.  Like  the  active  revolutionists, 
these  people  had  suffered  flogging,  imprison- 
ment, and  exile,  but  in  their  case  for  espousing 
the  doctrine  of  non-resistance. 

In  1897,  upon  their  refusal  to  take  up  arms, 
persecution  again  became  active.  The  Russian 
press  was  forbidden  to  allude  to  the  subject, 
but  a  petition  was  said  to  have  been  thrown 
into  the  carriage  of  the  Empress  when  she  was 
traveling  in  the  Caucasus,  where  the  Doukho- 
bors had  been  banished,  and  her  interest  was 
aroused.  By  1900  Tolstoi  had  succeeded  in 
fixing  attention  upon  their  plight,  and  arrange- 
ments were  finally  made,  chiefly  through  the 
efforts  of  Friends  in  England  and  America  and 
the  devotion  of  Aylmer  Maude,  for  their  settle- 
ment in  Canada. 

In  order  to  raise  funds  for  the  emigration 
of  these  peasants  to  Canada,  Tolstoi  was  per- 
suaded to  depart  from  his  established  principle 


and  accept  copyright  for  "  Resurrection,"  but 
the  Doukhobors  refused  to  benefit  by  the 
sale  of  a  book  which  they  did  not  consider 
"  good." 

During  the  first  years  of  their  life  in  Mani- 
toba things  did  not  go  well  with  them,  and  the 
House  on  Henry  Street  became  the  headquarters 
for  some  of  their  friends  as  they  came  and  went 
from  England.  A  young  man  who,  under  the 
influence  of  Tolstoi,  had  given  up  his  commis- 
sion in  the  army  spent  a  winter  in  Canada 
helping  them  to  lay  out  their  farm  lands. 

When  he  visited  us  he  paid  full  tribute  to 
the  sincerity  of  their  religious  convictions,  but 
somewhat  ruefully  lamented  the  fanatical  ex- 
tremes to  which  they  carried  them.  The  Douk- 
hobors, who  believed  that  all  work  should  be 
shared,  voted  against  one  person  milking  their 
single  cow.  "  But  the  cow/'  said  the  young 
ex-captain,  "  was  not  a  communist,  and  went 

My  association  with  the  fortunes  of  the 
Doukhobors  ended  with  a  slight  incident  some 
time  later.  A  peasant,  unable  to  speak  any 
language  or  dialect  that  we  could  command  in 
the  house  or  neighborhood,  presented  a  card  at 
our  door  on  which  were  written  these  three 
words,  "  Kropotkin,  Crosby,  Wald."  When  an 
interpreter  was  secured  from  Ellis  Island  we 


learned  that,  hearing  of  the  pilgrimage  of  the 
Doukhobors  to  Canada,  he  had  decided  to  follow 
them,  and  for  clews  had  only  the  remote  con- 
nection of  Kropotkin's  sympathy  with  Russian 
peasants,  Ernest  Crosby's  devotion  to  Tolstoi, 
and  some  rumor  of  his  and  my  interest  in  these 
people.  That  he  should  have  succeeded  in  find- 
ing me  seemed  quite  remarkable.  He  was  sent 
to  Canada,  and  subsequent  letters  from  him  gave 
evidence  of  his  contentment  with  the  odd  sect 
to  which  he  had  been  attracted. 

After  rather  serious  conflict  between  their  re- 
ligious practices  and  the  Canadian  regulations, 
the  Doukhobors  are  reported  to  have  settled 
their  differences  and  to  have  established  flour- 
ishing communistic  colonies  where  thousands 
of  acres  have  been  brought  under  cultivation. 

The  Friends  of  Russian  Freedom,  a  national 
association  with  headquarters  in  New  York,  is 
composed  of  well-known  American  sympathiz- 
ers, and,  like  the  society  of  the  same  name  in 
England,  recognizes  the  spirit  that  animates 
Russians  engaged  in  the  struggle  for  political 
freedom,  and  is  watchful  to  show  sympathy 
and  give  aid. 

An  occasion  for  this  arose  about  eight  years 
ago,  when  the  Russian  Government  demanded 


the  extradition  of  one  Jan  Pouren  as  a  common 
criminal.  The  Commissioner  before  whom  the 
case  was  brought  acceded  to  Russia's  demands 
and  Pouren  was  held  in  the  Tombs  prison 
to  await  extradition.  Then  this  insignificant 
Lettish  peasant  became  a  center  of  protest. 
Pouren,  it  was  known,  had  been  involved  in  the 
Baltic  uprisings,  and  acquiescence  in  Russia's 
demands  for  his  extradition  would  imperil  thou- 
sands who,  like  him,  had  sought  a  refuge  here, 
and  would  take  heart  out  of  the  people  who 
still  clung  to  the  party  of  protest  throughout 
Russia.  A  great  mass-meeting  held  in  Cooper 
Union  bore  testimony  to  the  tenacity  with 
which  high-minded  Americans  clung  to  the 
cherished  traditions  of  their  country.  Able 
counsel  generously  offered  their  services,  and  it 
was  hoped  that  this  and  other  expressions  of 
public  protest  would  induce  the  Secretary  of 
State  to  order  the  case  reopened. 

My  own  participation  came  about  because  of 
a  request  from  the  members  of  the  Russian 
Revolutionary  Committee  in  New  York  that  I 
present  to  President  Roosevelt  personally  the 
arguments  for  the  reopening  of  the  case.  An 
hour  preceding  the  weekly  Cabinet  meeting  was 
appointed  for  my  visit.  I  took  to  the  White 
House  an  extraordinary  letter  sent  by  Lettish 
peasants,  now  hard-working  and  law-abiding; 


residents  of  Massachusetts  and  New  Hampshire. 
It  read:  "We  hear  Jan  Pouren  is  in  prison, 
that  he  is  called  a  criminal.  We  called  him 
'  brother '  and  '  comrade/  Do  not  let  him  fall 
into  the  hands  of  the  bloodthirsty  vampire."  To 
this  letter  were  appended  the  signatures  and  ad- 
dresses of  men  who  had  been  in  the  struggle  in 
Russia  and  who,  by  identifying  themselves  with 
Pouren,  placed  themselves  in  equal  jeopardy 
should  the  case  go  against  him.  They  offered 
to  give  sworn  affidavits,  or  to  come  in  person 
to  testify  for  the  accused.  With  the  letter 
had  come  a  considerable  sum  of  money  which 
the  signers  had  collected  from  their  scanty 
wages  for  Pouren's  defense.  I  also  had  with  me 
a  translation  of  the  report  to  the  second  Duma 
on  the  Baltic  uprisings  wherein  this  testimony, 
in  reference  to  the  attempt  of  the  Government 
to  locate  those  involved  in  the  disturbances,  was 
recorded :  "  They  beat  the  eight-year-old  Anna 
Pouren,  demanding  of  her  that  she  should  tell 
the  whereabouts  of  her  father/' 

The  President  and  the  Secretaries  concerned 
discussed  the  matter,  and  I  left  with  the  as- 
surance that  the  new  evidence  offered  would 
justify  the  reopening  of  the  case.  At  the  second 
hearing  the  Commissioner's  decision  was  re- 
versed and  Russia's  demands  refused,  on  the 
ground  that  the  alleged  offenses  were  shown 


to  be   political   and   "  not   in  any   one   instance 
for  personal  grievance  or  for  personal  gain."  1 

George  Kennan,  who  first  focused  the  atten- 
tion of  Americans  upon  the  political  exiles 
through  his  dramatic  portrayal  of  their  condi- 
tion in  the  Siberian  prisons,  is  still  the  eager 
champion  of  their  cause.  Prince  Kropotkin, 
who  thrilled  the  readers  of  the  Atlantic  Monthly 
with  his  "Autobiography  of  a  Revolutionist";2 
Tschaikowsky,  Gershuni,  Marie  Sukloff  8 — a  long 
procession  of  saints  and  martyrs,  sympathizers, 
and  supporters — have  crossed  the  threshold  of 
the  House  on  Henry  Street  and  stirred  deep 
feeling  there.  Katharine  Breshkovsky  (Ba- 
buschka,  little  grandmother)4,  most  beloved  of 
all  who  have  suffered  for  the  great  cause,  is  to 
many  a  symbol  of  the  Russian  revolution. 

Who  of  those  that  sat  around  the  fire  with 
her  in  the  sitting-room  of  the  Henry  Street 
house  can  ever  forget  the  experience?  We  knew 
vaguely  the  story  of  the  young  noblewoman's 

1  U.  S.  Commissioner  S.  M.  Hitchcock's  decision,  delivered  March 
30,  1909. 

2  Now  published,  with  considerable  additions,  as  "  Memoirs  of  a 
Revolutionist"    (Houghton   Mifflin  Co.). 

3  See    '  The   Life  Story  of  a   Russian   Exile,"  by  Marie  Sukloff 
(The  Century  Co.). 

4  See  the  sympathetic  sketch,  "  Katharine  Breshkovsky,"  by  Ernest 
Poole  (Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Co.,  Chicago). 


attempt  to  teach  the  newly  freed  serfs  on  her 
father's  estate  in  the  early  sixties;  how  her  re- 
ligious zeal  to  give  all  that  she  had  to  the  poor 
was  regarded  as  dangerous  by  the  Czar's  gov- 
ernment, and  how  one  suppression  and  perse- 
cution after  another  finally  drove  her  into  the 
circle  of  active  revolutionists.  Her  long  incar- 
ceration in  the  Russian  prison  and  final  sentence 
to  the  Kara  mines  and  hard  labor  was  known 
to  us,  and  we  identified  her  as  the  woman  whose 
exalted  spirit  had  stirred  Mr.  Kennan  when 
he  met  her  in  the  little  Buriat  hamlet  on  the 
frontier  of  China  so  many  years  ago. 

And  then,  after  two  decades  of  prison  and 
Siberian  exile,  she  sat  with  us  and  thrilled  us 
with  glimpses  of  the  courage  of  those  who  an- 
swered the  call.  Lightly  touching  on  her  own 
share  in  the  tragic  drama,  she  carried  us  with 
her  on  the  long  road  to  Siberia  among  the 
politicals  and  the  convicts  who  were  their  com- 
panions, through  the  perils  of  an  almost  success- 
ful escape  with  three  students  to  the  Pacific,  a 
thousand  miles  away.  She  told  of  her  recap- 
ture and  return  to  hard  labor  in  the  Kara  mines; 
of  the  unspeakable  outrages,  and  the  heroic 
measures  her  companions  there  took  to  draw 
attention  to  the  prisoners'  plight,  and  how, 
despite  these  things,  she  looked  back  upon 
that  time  as  wonderful  because  of  the  beautiful 


and  valiant  souls  who  were  her  fellow-prisoners 
and  companions,  young  women  who  had  given 
up  more  than  life  itself  for  the  great  cause  of 

Her  visit  to  America  in  1905  was  made  at  a 
time  when  the  long-cherished  hopes  of  the  revo- 
lutionists had  some  promise  of  realization.  It 
was  deemed  necessary  to  gain  the  utmost  sym- 
pathy and  support  from  the  comrades  here,  and 
she  did  indeed  reawaken  in  the  hearts  of  our 
neighbors  their  most  passionate  desire  for  the 
political  emancipation  of  a  country  so  well  be- 
loved from  a  government  so  well  hated. 

I  accompanied  Madame  Breshkovsky  to  a 
reception  given  in  her  honor  by  her  fellow- 
countrymen,  and  her  approach  was  the  signal 
for  a  great  demonstration.  They  lifted  her  from 
the  floor  and  carried  her,  high  above  the  heads 
of  the  people,  to  her  chair.  They  sang  "  The 
Marseillaise,"  and  the  men  wept  with  the 
women.  Love  and  deference  equally  were  ac- 
corded to  her  noble  character  and  fine  percep- 
tions. In  addition  to  her  clear  and  far-sighted 
vision,  her  gift  of  quick  and  accurate  decision 
and  her  extraordinary  ability  as  an  organizer 
gave  her,  I  was  told,  remarkable  authority  in 
the  councils  of  her  party. 

When  I  last  saw  her,  at  the  close  of  her  stay 
in  this  country,  she  implored  me  never  to  forget 


Russia  and  the  struggle  there,  and  said,  as  we 
separated  after  a  lingering  embrace:  "Should 
you  ever  grow  cold,  bring  before  your  mind 
the  procession  of  men  and  women  who  for 
years  have  gone  in  the  early  dawn  of  their 
lives  to  execution,  and  gladly,  that  others  might 
be  free." 

Upon  returning  to  Russia  she  was  arrested, 
and  after  almost  three  years'  imprisonment  in 
the  Fortress  of  Peter  and  Paul,  "  that  huge 
stone  coffin,"  was  sent  to  Siberia  "  na  poselenie," 
as  a  forced  colonist.  The  first  letters  that  came 
to  her  friends  from  Siberia  told  of  the  journey 
to  the  place  of  her  exile  in  the  Trans-Baikal, 
two  or  three  hundred  miles  northeast  of  Irkutsk. 
They  traveled  by  train,  on  foot,  in  primitive 
carts,  or  "  crowded  like  herrings  in  a  barrel ' 
in  boats  that  floated  with  the  current,  having 
no  other  means  of  propulsion,  and,  finally,  after 
nearly  three  months  spent  on  the  way,  reached 
the  little  island  town  of  Kirensk,  surrounded 
by  two  rivers,  "  the  immense  and  cold  Lena  and 
the  less  majestic  Kyrenga." 

A  letter  from  a  fellow-exile,  written  in  Au- 
gust, 1910,  tells  of  her  passing  through  his 
village  in  a  company  of  two  hundred  and  fifty 
political  exiles  and  criminals,  surrounded  by  a 
numerous  guard.  "  Among  the  crowd  in  gray 
coats,  under  gray  skies  and  rain,  her  imposing 


figure  struck  everyone/'  He  notes  how  her  first 
thought,  after  days  of  travel  through  the  pour- 
ing rain  in  a  miserable  cart,  and  nights  spent  in 
barracks  or  around  a  bonfire  in  the  open  air, 
was  for  others,  "  our  unfortunate  comrades/' 
"  Their  sufferings,"  he  adds,  "  do  a  terrible  sore 
at  her  heart.  .  .  .  She  formed  the  center  of  the 
party  and  the  object  of  general  attention,  not 
only  of  her  political  comrades,  but  also  of  the 
criminals  and  the  soldiers  of  the  convoy.  When 
I  had  traveled  under  escort  to  our  exile  some 
months  before  everywhere  we  heard  '  Babuschka 
is  coming.  God  grant  us  to  see  her!'  The 
prisoners  and  the  exiles  in  Siberia  waited  with 
reverence  to  see  the  miracle  woman.  She 
kissed  us  all  and  cheered  us  all/' 

Her  attempted  escape  from  Kirensk,  recap- 
ture, and  sentence  to  the  Irkutsk  prison  in  the 
winter  of  1913  are  known  to  all  the  world.  Her 
letters  to  American  friends  from  her  Siberian 
exile  revealed  the  heroic  soul.  Her  physical 
sufferings  were  only  incidentally  alluded  to,  as 
in  one  letter  where,  in  the  quaint  English  ac- 
quired in  America  and  by  study  during  her  last 
imprisonment,  she  said:  "My  gait  is  not  yet 
sure  enough,  and  it  will  take  some  time  before 
my  forces  and  my  celerity  rejoin  me  to  the 
point  as  to  let  me  exercise  my  feet  without  the 
aid  of  anyone."  Nevertheless,  she  continues 



quite  undaunted,  ;  I  hope  to  restore  my  health 
and  to  live  till  the  day  I  see  you  again." 

The  sufferings  and  deprivations  of  the  young 
political  exiles  caused  her  the  greatest  sorrow. 
It  was,  indeed,  the  only  suffering  she  acknowl- 
edged, although  she  deplored  that  reasonable 
conversation  was  impossible,  with  the  spies 
always  within  sight  and  hearing,  and  expressed 
her  "  disgust '  that  they  accompanied  her  when- 
ever she  went  out. 

In  Kirensk  there  are  over  a  thousand  exiles 
forced  to  live  on  their  earnings  and  the  small 
stipend  received  from  the  government.  There 
is  little  work  to  be  had,  and  that  little  is  ren- 
dered more  uncertain  by  the  fact  that  the  police 
shift  the  exiles  about,  seldom  allowing  them  to 
remain  in  one  place  for  more  than  six  months. 
Most  of  them  are  thus  kept  in  a  state  of  semi- 
starvation.  The  magazines,  books,  and  picture 
post  cards  which  Madame  Breshkovsky  received 
were  used  by  her  to  extraordinary  advantage. 
Of  some  periodicals  that  I  had  caused  to  be 
sent  her  she  wrote:  "They  make  a  great 
parade  in  Siberia,  going  as  far  as  Irkutsk  and 
Yakutsk,  and  some  of  them  find  resting-place  in 
the  libraries  and  museums.'3  She  taught  Eng- 
lish to  the  young  "  politicals  '  and  reading  and 
writing  to  the  illiterate  native  Siberians.  "  You 
understand  my  situation,"  she  wrote:  "an  old 


mother  who  would  serve  every  one  of  them.  I 
aid,  I  grumble,  I  sustain,  I  hear  confessions 
like  a  priest,  I  give  counsel  and  admonition, 
but  this  is  a  drop  in  the  ocean  of  misery."  And 
of  herself  again:  "How  happy  I  am;  perse- 
cuted, banished,  and  yet  beloved/3 

From  the  letters  that  have  come  to  America 
and  are  shared  by  the  circle  of  her  friends  here 
I  select  one,  written  in  answer  to  a  request  that 
she  send  a  message  of  her  philosophy  to  the 
students  of  a  women's  college  who  had  asked 
me  to  tell  the  story  of  the  Russian  revolution  as 
personified  in  her: 

"  October  20,  1913,  Kirensk. 
"Very  dear  and  well-beloved  Lillian: — 

"  Your  letter,  as  well  as  the  postal  cards  which 
you  were  good  enough  to  send  me,  were  re- 
ceived by  me  several  days  ago,  and  perhaps  it 
is  with  the  last  mail  that  I  send  you  this  reply. 
Snow  already  covers  the  mountainous  borders 
of  the  superb  Lena,  and  frost  will  soon  fill  the 
waters  with  masses  of  ice,  which  will  interrupt 
all  communications  for  two  or  three  weeks, 
leaving  us  isolated  on  our  little  island,  entirely 
engulfed  by  cold,  badly  treated  by  the  north 
wind.  I  hasten,  therefore,  to  thank  you  for 
your  indefatigable  attention  towards  the  old 
recluse  who,  habituated  as  she  is  to  pass  her 


days  now  and  again  imprisoned  or  exiled,  re- 
joices, nevertheless,  to  find  herself  loved — to 
feel  that  the  most  noble  hearts  beat  in  unison 
with  hers. 

"It  is  strange!  Every  time  that  I  am  asked 
to  speak  about  myself  I  am  always  confused 
and  find  nothing  to  say.  It  is  very  likely  that 
if  I  paid  more  attention  to  the  exterior  cir- 
cumstances of  my  life  there  would  be  enough  to 
talk  about  that  would  fill  more  than  a  book. 
But  ever  since  my  childhood  I  have  had  the 
habit  of  creating  a  spiritual  life,  an  interior 
world,  which  responded  better  to  my  spiritual 
taste.  This  imaginary  world  has  had  the  upper 
hand  over  the  real  world  in  its  details,  over  all 
that  is  transient. 

"  The  aim  of  our  existence,  the  perfecting  of 
human  nature,  was  always  present  to  my  vision, 
in  my  mind.  The  route,  the  direction  that  we 
ought  to  take  in  order  to  approach  our  ideal, 
was  for  me  a  problem,  the  solution  of  which 
absorbed  the  efforts  of  my  entire  life.  I  was 
implacable  for  myself,  for  my  weaknesses,  know- 
ing that  to  serve  a  divine  cause  we  must  sin- 
cerely love  the  object  of  our  devotion,  that  is 
to  say,  in  this  case,  humanity. 

"  These  meditations,  and  a  vigorous  imagina- 
tion, which  always  carried  me  far  beyond  the 
present,  permitting  me  to  inhabit  the  most 


longed-for  regions,  combined  to  attract  very 
little  of  my  attention  to  daily  circumstances. 

"  Without  doubt,  I  have  had  suffering  in  my 
life,  as  I  have  had  moments  of  joy,  of  happi- 
ness even.  It  is  also  true  that  the  struggle 
with  my  failings,  with  the  habits  engrafted  by 
a  worldly  education,  have  cost  me  more  or  less 
dearly.  The  misery  of  those  near  to  me  tore 
my  heart  to  the  extreme.  In  a  word,  life  has 
passed  in  the  same  way  as  a  bark  thrown  upon 
the  mercy  of  a  sea  often  stormy.  But  as  the 
ideal  was  always  there,  present  in  my  heart 
and  in  my  mind,  it  guided  me  in  my  course,  it 
absorbed  me  to  such  a  degree  that  I  did  not 
feel  in  all  their  integrity  the  influences  of  pass- 
ing events.  The  duty  to  serve  the  divine  cause 
of  humanity  in  its  entirety,  that  of  my  people  in 
particular,  was  the  law  of  my  life, — the  supreme 
law,  whose  voice  stilled  my  passions,  my  desires, 
in  short,  my  weaknesses.  .  .  . 

1  Since  I  live  in  my  thoughts  more  than  by 
emotion,  it  is  my  thoughts  that  I  have  to  con- 
fess more  than  the  facts  of  my  life.  These 
facts,  to  tell  the  truth,  are  sufficiently  confused 
in  my  memory,  and  often  I  would  not  be  able 
to  relate  them  in  all  their  details.  Also,  in 
conversing  with  those  who  care  to  listen  to  me, 
I  feel  that  I  am  monotonous,  for  it  is  always 
my  ideas  and  my  abstract  observations  that  I 


want  to  communicate  to  my  listeners.  I  have 
studied  a  great  deal  in  order  to  understand  even 
ever  so  little  of  the  origin  of  the  human  soul, 
in  order  to  understand  more  or  less  its  com- 
plexity of  to-day.  There  lies  my  only  strength, 
so  to  speak,  and  I  continue  my  study,  knowing 
how  complex  my  object  of  study  is,  and  what  an 
innumerable  quantity  of  different  combinations, 
of  types,  of  low  types,  have  been  formed  during 
the  long  history  of  the  laboratory  where  is  pre- 
pared the  supreme  fusion  called  the  human  soul. 
The  esteem  for  the  individual  of  the  human 
species,  and  the  adoration  of  the  intellectual 
treasure  of  this  individual,  ought  to  form  the 
center  of  all  religion,  of  all  knowledge,  of  all 
ideal.  It  is  only  in  venerating  the  human  being 
as  the  most  beautiful  creation  of  the  world,  it  is 
only  in  understanding  the  beauty  and  the  inde- 
structible grandeur  of  an  intelligence  illuminated 
by  love  and  knowledge,  that  the  education  of 
the  young  generations  will  bring  the  desired 
fruits.  .  .  . 

"  Lillian,  my  friend,  I  hope  to  be  understood 
by  you.  .  .  I  embrace  you.  I  kiss  your  two 
hands  and  thank  you  for  your  noble  and  dear 
existence.  To  your  entire  settlement  I  send 

"  Your 

"  Katharine  Breshkovsky." 


Madame  Breshkovsky's  friends  are  to  be 
found  in  every  civilized  nation,  and  her  influ- 
ence, from  an  exile's  hut  in  an  isolated  village 
in  the  Arctic  Circle,  has  radiated  to  remote 
quarters  of  the  globe.  From  her  prison  at 
Irkutsk  this  woman,  nearing  her  seventieth 
birthday,  sends  messages  of  hope  and  cheer, 
proclaiming  her  unquenchable  faith  that  the 
cause  is  just,  and  therefore  must  prevail. 

I  would  not  have  our  profound  interest  in  the 
Russian  revolution  entirely  explained  by  the  fel- 
lowship we  have  had  with  those  who  have  par- 
ticipated in  it,  by  the  literature  which  has 
stirred  hearts  and  minds  everywhere,  or  by 
our  actual  experience  with  innocent  victims  of 
outrages.  The  continuance  of  a  policy  of  sup- 
pression of  freedom  infiltrates  the  social  order 
everywhere,  destroys  the  germination  of  new 
forms  of  social  life,  and  he  who  has  not  sym- 
pathy with  the  throbbing  of  the  human  heart, 
and  who  does  not  revolt  against  injustice  any- 
where in  the  world,  who  does  not  see  in  the 
gigantic  struggle  in  Russia  a  world  movement 
for  freedom  and  progress  that  is  our  struggle 
too,  will  not  comprehend  the  significance  of  the 
sympathy  of  the  many  Americans  who  are 
friends  of  Russian  freedom. 


IT  would  be  impossible  to  give  adequate  presen- 
tation of  those  forces  termed  social  which  have 
hold  upon  our  neighborhood. 

People  with  an  ephemeral  interest  in  the  social 
order  and  some  who  are  only  seeking  new 
thrills  are  prone  to  look  upon  the  East  Side  as 
presenting  a  picturesque  and  alluring  field  for 
experimentation,  and  they  are,  at  times,  re- 
sponsible for  the  confused  conception  of  the 
neighborhood  in  the  public  mind. 

The  poor  and  the  unemployed,  the  sick,  the 
helpless,  and  the  bewildered,  unable  to  articu- 
late their  woes,  are  with  us  in  great  numbers. 
These,  however,  comprise  only  a  part  of  our 
diverse,  cosmopolitan  population.  There  are 
many  men  and  women  living  on  the  East  Side 
who  give  keen  scrutiny  to  measures  for  social 
amelioration.  They  are  likely  to  appreciate  the 
sincerity  of  messages  whether  these  relate  to 
living  conditions,  to  the  drama,  or  to  music. 
Not  only  the  East  Side  "  intellectuals,"  but  the 
alert  proletariat,  may  furnish  propagandists  of 

important  social  reforms. 



The  contrast  between  the  character  of  the  re- 
ligious influences  of  the  remoter  past,  or  even 
of  twenty  or  thirty  years  ago,  in  our  part  of 
the  city,  with  those  of  the  present  day,  is  marked 
in  the  church  edifices  themselves. 

Across  from  the  settlement's  main  houses  on 
Henry  Street  stands  All  Saints',  with  its  slave 
gallery,  calling  up  a  picture  of  the  rich  and 
fashionable  congregation  of  long  ago.  For 
years  after  their  removal  to  other  parts  of  the 
city,  sentiment  for  the  place,  focusing  on  the 
stately,  young-minded,  octogenarian  clergyman 
who  remained  behind,  occasionally  brought  old 
members  back,  but  now  he  too  is  gone,  and  the 
services  echo  to  empty  pews.  The  Floating 
Church,  moored  to  its  dock  nearby,  was  removed 
but  yesterday.  Mariners'  Temple  and  the 
Church  of  the  Sea  and  Land  still  stand,  and 
suggest  an  invitation  to  the  seafaring  man  to 
worship  in  Henry  Street. 

Occasionally  a  zealot  seeks  to  rekindle  in  the 
churches  of  our  neighborhood  the  fire  that  once 
brightened  their  altars,  and  social  workers  hailed 
one  as  "  comrade  '  who  ventured  to  bring  the 
infamy  of  the  red-light  district  to  the  knowledge 
of  his  bishop  and  the  city.  That  bishop,  hu- 
mane and  socially  minded,  came  down  for  a 
short  time  to  live  among  us,  and  in  the  evenings 
when  he  crossed  the  crowded  street  to  call  or 



to  dine  with  us  he  dwelt  upon  the  pleasure  he 
had   in   learning  to   know   the   self-respect   and 

All  Saints',"  on  Henry  Street. 

dignity  of  his  East  Side  parishioners.  He  spoke 
with  gratification  of  the  fact  that  during  his 
stay  downtown  no  begging  letters  had  come  to 


him  from  the  neighborhood,  nor  had  anyone 
belonging  to  it  taken  advantage  of  his  presence 
to  ask  for  personal  favors.  The  neighborhood 
took  his  presence  quite  simply,  regretting,  with 
him,  the  spectacular  featuring  of  his  visit  by  the 
newspapers.  Indeed,  the  only  cynical  comment 
that  came  to  my  ears  was  from  a  young  radical, 
who,  hearing  of  the  bishop's  tribute,  said: 

That's  nothing  new.  It's  only  new  to  a 

In  the  Roman  Catholic  churches  the  change 
is  most  marked  by  the  dwindling  of  the  large 
Irish  congregations  and  the  coming  of  the 
Italians.  Patron  saints'  days  are  celebrated 
with  pomp  and  elaborate  decoration.  Arches  of 
light  festoon  the  streets,  altars  are  erected  on 
the  sidewalk,  and  the  image  of  the  saint  is  en- 
shrined on  the  church  facade  high  above  the 
passer-by.  Threading  in  and  out  of  the  throngs 
are  picturesquely  shawled  women  with  lovely 
babes  in  arms,  fakirs  and  beggars,  venders  of- 
fering for  sale  rosaries,  candles,  and  holy  pic- 
tures. Mulberry,  Elizabeth  and  even  Goerck 
Streets'  sordid  ugliness  is  then  transformed  for 
the  time,  and  a  clew  is  given  to  the  old-world 
influence  of  the  Church  through  drama. 

The  change  from  the  Russian  pale  where  the 
rabbi's  control  is  both  civil  and  spiritual  to  a 


new  world  of  complex  religious  and  political  au- 
thority, or  lack  of  authority,  accentuates  the 
difficulties  of  readjustment  for  the  pious  Jew. 
The  Talmudic  students,  cherished  in  the  old 
country  and  held  aloof  from  all  questions  of 
economic  needs  because  of  their  learning  and 
piety,  find  themselves  without  anchor  in  the 
new  environment  and  precipitated  into  entirely 
new  valuations  of  worth  and  strength. 

Freedom  and  opportunity  for  the  young 
make  costly  demands  upon  the  bewildered  elders, 
who  cling  tenaciously  to  their  ancient  religious 
observances.  The  synagogues  are  everywhere — 
imposing  or  shabby-looking  buildings — and  the 
chevras,  sometimes  occupying  only  a  small  room 
where  the  prescribed  number  meet  for  daily 
prayer.  Often  through  the  windows  of  a  dilapi- 
dated house  the  swaying  figures  of  the  devout 
may  be  seen  with  prayer-shawl  and  phylactery 
and  eyes  turned  to  the  East.  At  high  festivals 
every  pew  and  bench  are  occupied  and  additional 
halls  are  rented  where  services  are  held  for  those 
men,  women,  and  young  people  who,  indifferent 
at  other  times,  then  meet  and  pray  together. 

But  though  the  religious  life  is  abundantly  in 
evidence  through  the  synagogues  and  the  Tal- 
mud-Torah  schools1  and  the  Ghedorim,  where 

1  Report   of   the   Federal   Bureau   of   Education    for    1913   shows 
500  of  these  schools  in  New  York  City. 


the  boys,  confined  for  many  hours,  study 
Hebrew  and  receive  religious  instruction,  and  al- 
though the  Barmitzvah,  or  confirmation  of  the 
son  at  thirteen,  is  still  an  impressive  ceremony 
and  the  occasion  of  family  rejoicing,  there  is 
lament  on  the  part  of  the  pious  that  the  house 
of  worship  and  the  ritualistic  ceremonial  of  the 
Jewish  faith  have  lost  their  hold  upon  the  spir- 
itual life  of  the  younger  generation. 

For  them  new  appeals  take  the  place  of  the 
old  religious  commands.  The  modern  public- 
spirited  rabbi  offers  his  pulpit  for  the  presen- 
tation of  current  social  problems.  Zionism 
with  its  appeal  for  a  spiritual  nationalism,  so- 
cialism with  its  call  to  economic  salvation,  the 
extension  of  democracy  through  the  enfranchise- 
ment of  women,  the  plea  for  service  to  humanity 
through  social  work,  stir  the  younger  genera- 
tion and  give  expression  to  a  religious  spirit. 

Settlements  suffer  at  times  from  the  criticism 
of  those  who  sincerely  believe  that,  without 
definite  religious  propaganda,  their  full  measure 
of  usefulness  cannot  be  attained.  It  has  seemed 
to  us  that  something  fundamental  in  the  struc- 
ture of  the  settlement  itself  would  be  lost  were 
our  policy  altered.  All  creeds  have  a  common 
basis  for  fellowship,  and  their  adherents  may 
work  together  for  humanity  with  mutual  respect 




and  esteem  for  the  conviction  of  each  when 
these  are  not  brought  into  controversy.  Prot- 
estants, Catholics,  Jews,  an  occasional  Buddhist, 
and  those  who  can  claim  no  creed  have  lived 
and  served  together  in  the  Henry  Street  house 
contented  and  happy,  with  no  attempt  to  im- 
pose their  theological  convictions  upon  one 
another  or  upon  the  members  of  the  clubs 
and  classes  who  come  in  confidence  to  us. 

During  any  election  campaign  the  swarming, 
gesticulating,  serious-looking  street  crowds  of 
our  neighborhood  are  multiplied  and  intensified. 
Orators,  not  a  few  small  boys  among  them, 
appear  on  nearly  every  street  corner,  and  an 
observer  might  almost  measure  the  forces  that 
influence  the  people  by  the  number  and  char- 
acter of  the  orators,  the  appeals  upon  which 
they  base  their  hope  of  approval  at  the  polls, 
and  the  reaction  of  the  crowds  that  surround 

Pleas  supported  by  reasonable  show  of  argu- 
ment are  likely  to  find  intelligent  response, 
although,  as  is  but  natural,  the  judgment  of  a 
temperamental  people  is  at  times  not  clearly 
defined.  During  the  recent  almost  riotous  sup- 
port of  a  Governor  who  had  been  impeached  (it 
was  generally  believed  at  the  behest  of  an  irri- 


tated  "  boss  '  to  whom  he  had  refused  obedi- 
ence) many  New  Yorkers  who  had  come  to 
count  upon  the  East  Side  for  insight  and  under- 
standing were  perplexed  at  what  seemed  hero- 
worship  of  a  man  against  whom  charges  of 
misappropriation  of  funds  had  been  sustained. 
Those  who  knew  the  people  discerned  an  emo- 
tional desire  for  justice  mingled  with  some  grati- 
tude to  the  man  who, 
while  in  Congress,  had 
kept  faith  with  his  con- 
stituents on  matters  vi- 
tal to  them.  Stopping 
at  a  sidewalk  stand  on 
Second  Avenue,  I  asked 
the  owner  what  it  was 
all  about.  "Oh,"  said 
he,  "  Sulzer  ain't  being  punished  now  for  bein' 
bad.  Murphy's  hittin'  him  for  the  good  he 

Our  first  realization  of  the  dominating  influ- 
ence of  political  control  upon  the  individual  and 
collective  life  of  the  neighborhood  came,  natu- 
rally enough,  through  the  gossip  of  our  new 
acquaintances  when  we  came  to  live  downtown, 
and  we  were  not  long  oblivious  to  the  power 
invested  in  quite  ordinary  men  whom  we  met* 

Two  distinguished  English  visitors  to  Amer- 
ica, keen  students  and  historians  of  social  move- 


ments,  expressed  a  desire  to  learn  of  the 
methods  of  Tammany  Hall  from  someone  in  its 
inner  councils.  A  luncheon  with  a  well-known 
and  continuous  officeholder  was  arranged  by  a 
mutual  friend.  When  my  interest  was  first 
aroused  in  the  political  life  of  the  city  this  man's 
position  in  the  party  had  been  cited  as  an  ex- 
ample of  the  astuteness  of  the  "  Boss."  He  had 
revolted  against  certain  conditions  and  had 
shown  remarkable  ability  in  building  up  an  op- 
position within  the  party.  Ever  after  he  had 
enjoyed  unchallenged  some  high-salaried  office. 
Under  the  genial  influence  of  our  host,  and 
perhaps  because  he  felt  secure  with  the  English 
guests,  the  "  Judge  '  (he  had  at  one  time  pre- 
sided in  an  inferior  court)  talked  freely  of  the 
details  about  which  they  were  curious, — how  the 
organization  tested  the  loyalty  of  its  members 
and  increased  their  power  and  prestige  as  their 
record  warranted  it,  giving,  incidentally,  an  in- 
teresting glimpse  of  the  human  elements  in  the 
great  political  machine.  His  own  success  as 
judge  he  attributed  to  the  fact  that  he  had  used 
common  sense  where  his  highly  educated  col- 
leagues would  have  used  text-books,  and  with 
keen  appreciation  of  the  humor  of  the  situation 
he  told  how,  when  he  was  sworn  in,  a  distin- 
guished jurist  said  he  had  come  to  his  court  lf  to 
see  Judge dispense  with  justice."  He  de- 


fended  the  logic,  from  the  "  Boss's  '  point  of 
view,  of  efficiently  administering  such  patronage 
as  was  available,  and  made  much  of  the  kind- 
ness to  the  poor  that  was  possible  because  of 
the  district  control.  Comparing  their  own  with 
what  he  supposed  to  be  my  attitude  to  the  poor, 
he  added  with  a  smile  of  comprehension,  "  It's 
the  same  thing,  only  we  keep  books/' 

A  political  organization  watchful  to  capture 
personal  loyalty  makes  dramatic  appeal,  the 
potency  of  which  cannot  be  ignored.  The 
speedy  release  of  young  offenders  from  jail  was, 
years  ago,  the  most  impressive  demonstration  of 
beneficent  influence,  and  it  was  whispered  that 
district  leaders  were  notified  by  the  police  of 
arrests,  that  they  might  have  an  opportunity  to 
get  the  young  men  out  of  trouble.  Certain  it  is 
that  several  times  when  anxious  relatives 
rushed  to  us  for  help  we  found  that  the  leader 
had  been  as  promptly  notified  as  the  families 

So  much  genuine  kindness  is  entwined  with 
the  administration  of  this  district  control  that 
one  can  well  comprehend  the  loyalty  that  it 
wins;  and  it  is  not  the  poor,  jobless  man  who, 
at  election  times,  remembers  favors  of  whom  we 
are  critical. 

Opposed  to  the  solidarity  of  the  long  dominant 
party  are  the  other  party  organizations  and  nu- 

SOCIAL  FORCES  '          259 

merous  cliques  of  radicals,  independents,  and 
reformers.  These,  when  the  offenses  of  the 
party  in  power  become  most  flagrant,  unite,  and 
New  York  is  temporarily  freed  from  "  boss  ' 
rule,  to  enjoy  a  respite  of  "  reform  administra- 
tion." Into  such  "  moral  campaigns  "  the  House 
on  Henry  Street  has  always  entered,  and  some- 
times it  has  helped  to  initiate  them,  though 
steadily  refusing  to  be  brought  officially  into  a 
political  party  or  faction.  Indeed,  it  would  be 
impossible  to  range  residents  or  club  members 
under  one  political  banner.  As  is  natural  in 
so  large  a  group,  nearly  every  shade  of  political 
faith  is  represented. 

A  large  proportion  of  the  young  people  who 
come  to  the  settlements  are  attracted  to  the 
independent  political  movements,  and  are  likely 
to  respond  to  appeals  to  their  civic  conscience. 
While  serving  on  a  State  Commission  I  heard 
an  upstate  colleague  repeat  the  rumor  that  Gov- 
ernor Hughes,  then  a  candidate  for  re-election, 
was  to  be  knifed  by  his  party.  We  had  seen 
in  our  section  of  the  city  no  active  campaign  on 
his  behalf.  Posters,  pictures,  and  flattering  ref- 
erences were  conspicuously  absent.  Governor 
Hughes  had  made  a  profound  impression  upon 
all  but  the  advocates  of  rigid  party  control  be- 
cause of  his  high-minded  integrity  and  emanci- 
pation from  "  practical '  political  methods.  I 


telephoned  two  or  three  of  our  young  men  that 
the  time  seemed  ripe  for  some  action  in  our 
neighborhood.  In  an  incredibly  short  time  a 
small  group  of  Democrats,  Republicans,  and 
Socialists  gathered  in  the  sitting-room  of  the 
Henry  Street  house,  and  within  twenty-four 
hours  an  Independent  League  was  formed  to 
bring  the  Governor's  candidacy  before  the 
neighborhood.  Financial  and  moral  support 
came  from  other  friends,  and  before  the  end 
of  the  week  he  addressed  in  Clinton  Hall  an 
enthusiastic  mass-meeting  organized  by  this 
league  without  help  from  the  members  of  his 
own  political  organization. 

The  sporadic  attempts  of  good  citizens  to  or- 
ganize for  reform  have,  I  am  sure,  given  prac- 
tical politicians  food  for  merriment.  One  elec- 
tion night,  dispirited  because  of  the  defeat  of 
an  upright  and  able  man,  I  was  about  to  enter 
the  settlement  when  one  of  the  district  leaders 
said:  Your  friends  don't  play  the  game  intel- 
ligently. You  telephone  them  to-night  to  begin 
to  organize  if  they  want  to  beat  us  next  elec- 
tion. You  got  to  begin  early  and  stick  to  it." 

However,  every  sincere  reform  campaign  is 
valuable  because  of  its  immediate  and  far- 
reaching  educational  effect,  even  when  the  can- 
didates fail  of  election.  It  is  gratifying  to  those 


who  are  socially  interested  to  watch  the  evo- 
lution of  political  platforms.  Every  party  now 
inserts  human  welfare  planks  and  pledges  devo- 
tion to  measures  that  in  the  days  of  our  initia- 
tion were  regarded  as  dreams  and  ridiculed  as 
beyond  the  realm  of  practicality.  Settlements 
have  increasing  authority  because  of  the  per- 
sistency of  their  interest  in  social  welfare 
measures.  They  accumulate  in  their  daily  rou- 
tine significant  facts  obtainable  in  no  other  way. 
Governors  and  legislators  listen,  and  sooner  or 
later  act  on  the  representations  of  responsible 
advocates  whose  facts  are  current  and  trust- 
worthy. The  experience  of  the  social  worker 
is  often  utilized  by  the  state.  At  the  twentieth 
anniversary  of  our  settlement  the  Mayor  drew 
public  attention  to  the  fact  that  no  less  than 
five  important  city  departments  were  intrusted 
to  men  and  one  woman  who  were  qualified 
for  public  duty  by  administration  of  or  long- 
continued  association  with  the  settlements. 

Soon  after  our  removal  to  Henry  Street  in 
1895  messengers  from  the  "  Association,"  the 
important  political  club  of  the  district,  brought 
lanterns  and  flags  with  which  we  were  requested 
to  decorate  in  honor  of  a  clambake  to  be  given 
the  next  day.  The  event  had  been  glaringly  and 
expensively  advertised  for  some  time.  The 
marchers  were  to  pass  our  house  in  the  morning 


and  on  their  return  in  the  evening.  The  young 
men  glowed  with  the  excitement  of  their  re- 
cital, and  I  can  still  see  the  blank  look  of  non- 
comprehension  that  passed  over  their  faces 
when  I  tried  to  soften  refusal  by  explaining — 
lamely,  I  fear — our  reasons  for  avoiding  the  im- 
plications of  participation.  The  courteous  dis- 
trict leader  of  the  other  great  party  was  equally 
at  sea  when,  a  short  time  after,  he  brought  flags 
and  decorations  for  their  more  humble  celebra- 
tion and  met  with  the  same  refusal.  The 
immediate  conclusion  appeared  to  be  that  we 
were  enemies  or  "  reformers/'  and  the  charge 
was  held  against  us. 

The  gay  and  spirited  clambake  parade,  with 
its  bands  and  flying  banners,  the  shooting 
rockets  and  loud  applause  of  the  friends  of  the 
marchers,  had  passed  by  when  we  were  drawn 
to  the  windows  to  gaze  upon  another  proces- 
sion. Straggling,  unkempt,  dispirited-looking 
marchers  returned  our  scrutiny  and  held  aloft 
a  banner  bearing  the  legend  '  Socialist  Labor 
Party/'  the  portrait  of  a  man,  and  beneath  it 
the  name  "  Daniel  De  Leon." 

It  was  our  first  intimation  of  the  socialist 
movement  in  America,  and  students  of  its  his- 
tory will  be  able  to  identify  this  leader  and 


recall  the  pioneer  part  he  played  in  its  early 
phases,  his  alliance  with  the  once-powerful 
Knights  of  Labor,  and  the  progress  and  decline 
of  his  society  now  overshadowed  by  the  pres- 
ent Socialist  Party.1 

Meeting  a  neighbor  on  the  Bowery  one  day 
about  two  years  later,  he  stopped  to  explain 
that  he  was  on  his  way  to  an  interesting  per- 
formance, and  invited  me  to  accompany  him. 
Together  we  walked  along  until  we  reached  the 
Thalia  Theater,  famous  under  its  old  name  of 
the  Bowery  in  the  annals  of  the  American 
stage.  In  this  theater  Charlotte  Cushman  made 
her  first  appearance  in  New  York,  and  here 
the  elder  Booth,  Lester  Wallack,  and  other 
great  players  delighted  the  theatergoers  of 
their  day. 

Venders  of  suspenders,  hot  sausages,  and 
plaster  statuettes  surrounded  the  building,  and 
placards  on  the  Greek  columns  advertised  the 
event  as  "  The  Spoken  Newspaper/5  A  huge 
audience  was  listening  to  editorials  and  special 
articles  read  by  the  authors  themselves,  and  the 
atmosphere  was  charged  with  intense  purpose. 
Acquaintances  gathered  quickly,  and  eagerly  ex- 
plained to  me  that  members  of  labor  organiza- 
tions and  "  intellectuals  "  of  the  neighborhood 

1  See  "  History   of   Socialism   in  the  United   States,"  by   Morris 
Hillquit   (Funk  and  Wagnalls). 


had  united  for  the  purpose  of  publishing  a  news- 
paper for  socialist  propaganda  and  to  help  the 
cause  of  the  working  classes.  They  had  little 
money;  in  fact,  were  in  debt.  The  men  had 
contributed  from  their  scanty  wages;  those  who 
possessed  watches  had  pawned  them,  and  they 
were  using  this  medium  ('  The  Spoken  News- 
paper ")  to  raise  money  to  pay  the  printer  and 
other  clamorous  creditors,  a  charge  of  ten  cents 
being  made  for  admission  to  the  theater.  A 
charter  had  been  obtained  under  the  name  of 
"  The  Forward  Association,"  but  I  was  made  to 
understand  that  this  was  not  a  stock  corpora- 
tion and  was  not  organized  for  profit. 

The  genuinely  social  purpose  of  the  organ- 
ization held  the  men  together  during  the  lean 
years  that  were  to  follow.  Finally,  in  1908,  the 
Association  became  self-supporting,  and  in  1911 
the  charter  was  amended  to  meet  the  enor- 
mously extended  field.  The  Forward  Associa- 
tion now  publishes  a  daily  paper  in  Yiddish, 
with  a  regular  circulation  of  177,000,  and  a 
monthly  periodical,  and  holds  property  esti- 
mated to  be  worth  half  a  million  dollars.  From 
its  funds  it  has  aided  struggling  propagandist 
newspapers  and  has  given  help  to  labor  organ- 

The  hope  of  a  more  equal  distribution  of 
wealth  bites  early  into  the  consciousness  of  the 


proletariat.  Even  the  children,  who  cannot  be 
excluded  from  any  discussion  in  a  tenement 
home,  have  opinions  on  the  subject.  Happen- 
ing one  day  upon  a  club  of  youngsters,  I  inter- 
rupted a  fiery  debate  on  socialism.  Its  twelve- 
year-old  defender  presented  his  argument  in  this 
fashion:  "You  see,  gentlemen,  it's  this  way: 
The  millionaires  sit  round  the  table  eating 
sponge-cake  and  the  bakers  are  down  in  the 
cellars  baking  it.  But  the  day  will  come,"— 
and  here  the  young  orator  pointed  an  accusing 
finger  at  the  universe — "  when  the  bakers  will 
come  up  from  their  cellars  and  say,  '  Gentle- 
men, bake  your  owrn  sponge-cake.' 

Mixed  with  my  admiration  for  the  impressive 
oratory  was  the  guilty  sense  that  the  settle- 
ment was  probably  responsible  for  the  picture 
of  licentious  living  manifested  by  the  consump- 
tion of  sponge-cake, — our  most  popular  refresh- 
ment, with  ice  cream  added  on  great  occasions. 

However  one  may  question  the  party  social- 
ists'claim  that  an  economic  and  social  millennium 
is  exclusively  dependent  upon  their  dominance, 
few  acquainted  with  those  active  in  the  move- 
ment will  deny  the  sincerity  of  purpose,  the 
almost  religious  exaltation  that  animate  great 
numbers  of  the  party.  The  first  socialist  mem- 
ber from  the  East,  and  the  second  in  the 


United  States,  has  been  elected  to  Congress 
from  our  district;  a  man  universally  esteemed 
for  his  probity,  with  a  record  of  many  years' 
unselfish  devotion  to  the  workingmen's  cause. 

A  copious  literature  and  widespread  propa- 
ganda proclaim  the  willingness  of  the  American 
people  now  to  give  socialism  a  hearing.  It 
seems  a  far  cry  from  that  first  unimpressive 
little  parade  that  drew  the  settlement  family  to 
the  windows  twenty  years  ago. 

Years  ago  the  lads  in  one  of  the  settlement 
clubs  debating  the  subject  of  woman  suffrage 
declared  it  to  be  "  a  well-known  fact  that  when 
women  had  the  vote  they  cut  off  their  hair, 
they  donned  men's  attire;  their  voices  became 

I  cannot  say  that  even  to-day  the  ardent  ad- 
vocates of  woman  suffrage  come  in  great  num- 
bers from  among  the  male  members  of  the 
settlement  clubs,  but,  on  the  whole,  the  tendency 
is  to  accept  women  in  politics  as  a  necessary 
phase  of  this  transitional  period  and  the  read- 
justment of  the  old  relations.  The  conviction 
that  the  extension  of  democracy  should  include 
women  has  found  free  expression  in  our  part 
of  the  city,  and  Miss  L.  L.  Dock,  a  resident  of 
many  years,  has  mobilized  Russians,  Italians, 



Irish,  and  native-born,  all  the  nationalities  of 
our  cosmopolitan  community,  for  the  campaign. 
When  the  suffrage  parade  marched  down  Fifth 
Avenue  in  1913,  back  of  the  settlement  banner, 
with  its  symbol  of  universal  brotherhood,  there 
walked  a  goodly  company  carrying  flags  with 
the  suffrage  demand  in  ten  languages.  The  cos- 
mopolitanism of  our  district  was  marked  by  the 
Sephardic  Jewish  girl  who  bore  aloft  the  Turk- 
ish appeal.  The  Chinese  banner  was  made  by  a 
Chinese  physician  and  a  Chinese  missionary. 
There  are  four  American-born  Chinese  voters 
in  our  part  of  the  city. 

The  transition  is  significant  from  the  position 
of  women  among  orthodox  Jews  to  the 
motherly  looking  woman  who  stands  on  a  soap- 
box at  the  corner  of  Henry  Street  and  makes 
her  appeal  for  the  franchise  to  a  respectful 


group  of  laboring  men.  The  mere  fact  that 
this  "  mother  in  Israel '  is  obliged  to  work  in 
a  factory  six  days  of  the  week  is  an  argument 
in  itself,  but  intelligently  and  interestingly  she 
develops  her  plea,  and  her  appeal  to  the  men's 
reason  brings  sober  nods  of  approval. 

The  Russian  revolution  owes  much  to  the 
valorous  women  who  from  the  formation  of  the 
Tschaikowsky  circles  in  the  early  '705  have 
worked  as  comrades  for  the  cause,  and  this  is 
well  known  to  the  "  intellectuals  '  of  the  East 
Side.  I  doubt  whether  a  single  man  or  woman 
could  be  found  among  them  opposed  to  granting 
the  franchise  to  women.  If  they  seem  indif- 
ferent, it  is  doubtless  because  they  think  it  a 
matter  of  course  and  strenuous  effort  to  secure 
votes  for  women  unnecessary.  From  the  party 
organization  men  there  is  not  so  much  encour- 

Commissioner  of  Corrections  Katherine  Davis 
testifies  that  the  inmates  of  the  girls'  reforma- 
tory disapprove  of  women  voting  as  "  unlady- 
like/' and  it  may  surprise  those  who  do  not 
know  the  thought  of  these  poor  women  to  learn 
that  they  cling  to  orthodox  ideals.  I  understand 
that  I  shocked  one  girl,  who  had  been  sen- 
tenced to  the  "  Island  '  from  the  Night  Court, 
by  advocating  the  appointment  of  women 
police.  The  probation  officer  who  called  upon 





her  asked  her  opinion  of  my  recommendation, 
which  was  then  sufficiently  novel  to  attract 
newspaper  attention.  '  Oh,"  said  the  girl,  u  it's 
not  right.  Woman's  place  is  the  home." 


THE  drama  is  taken  seriously  in  our  neigh^ 
borhood,  particularly  among  the  people  whose 
taste  has  not  been  affected  by  familiarity  with 
plays  or  theaters  classed  as  typically  '  Ameri- 
can/' In  the  years  of  our  residence  on  the 
East  Side  there  have  been  several  transitions  in 
the  Yiddish  drama  1  from  classic  to  modern  and 
realistic.  Feeling  has  at  times  run  high  be- 
tween the  advocates  of  the  different  schools, 
and  discussions  in  the  press  and  disputes  in  the 
cafes  have  reflected  a  very  lively  popular  in- 

Jacob  Gordin,  the  Yiddish  playwright,  con- 
tributed an  important  chapter  to  the  history  of 
the  stage,  and  his  art  was,  I  think,  a  factor  in 
drawing  intelligent  attention  to  the  East  Side. 

The  early  Hebrews  possessed  a  few  mystery  plays,  "The  Sale 
of  Joseph,"  "  Esther  and  Haman,"  and  "  David  and  Goliath,"  and 
at  the  Jewish  carnival  of  Purim  (Feast  of  Esther)  merrymakers 
went  from  house  to  house  giving  performances  of  song  and 
mimicry,  but  the  Yiddish  theater  is  new  and  was  first  introduced 
in  Rumania  not  more  than  thirty-five  years  ago.  Transplanted 
to  Russia,  the  actors,  said  to  have  been  selected  from  the  original 
strolling  companies,  played  a  brilliant  brief  part  until,  under  gov- 
ernment order,  the  Yiddish  theaters  were  closed  there. 



The  Yiddish  drama,  before  his  time,  had  not 
been  looked  upon  with  great  favor,  and  there 
was  in  this,  as  in  other  instances,  an  implica- 
tion of  the  contempt  that  Americans  not  infre- 
quently feel  for  the  alien,  and  also  a  fear,  on 
the  part  of  members  of  the  older  Jewish  com- 
munities, that  the  Yiddish  theater  might  re- 
tard the  Americanization  of  the  immigrant. 

Mr.  Gordin  was  one  of  our  early  friends,  and 
we  found  pleasure  in  our  theater  parties.  The 
audiences  seemed  scarcely  less  dramatic  than 
the  performers,  and  we  took  sides,  perhaps  not 
illogically,  with  the  new  school.  Upon  our 
appearance  interpreters  from  various  parts  of 
the  house  were  sure  to  offer  their  kind  services. 
The  acting  was  of  high  grade,  and  the  fame  of 
some  of  the  performers  has  now  gone  far  be- 
yond the  neighborhood  and  the  city.  The  stage 
during  this  period  performed  its  time-honored 
function  of  teaching  and  moralizing.  One  of 
Gordin's  plays  that  had  many  seasons  of  popu- 
larity was  "  The  Jewish  King  Lear."  It  de- 
picted the  endless  clashing  between  the  genera- 
tions. The  Shakespearean  Cordelia,  on  the 
Bowery  stage,  is  the  daughter  of  character  who 
longs  for  self-expression  and  becomes  a  physi- 
cian. Another  impressive  play  was  l  God,  Man, 
and  the  Devil/3  Here  was  preached  the  story 
of  man's  fall,  not  because  of  poverty,  but 


through  the  possession  of  riches.  The  pious 
Jewish  scribe  resists  the  worldly  man  and  his 
enticements,  but  having  come  into  the  posses- 
sion of  money  he  becomes  grasping,  eager  for 
power,  susceptible  to  flattery.  The  portrayal 
of  his  spiritual  downfall  gave  the  playwright 
opportunity  for  remarkable  delineation  of  Jew- 
ish character.  I  also  found  it  interesting  to 
take  William  Archer,  the  English  critic,  on  his 
first  visit  to  America,  to  see  Ibsen  metamor- 
phosed in  "  The  Jewish  Nora/'  which  was  then 
playing  at  a  nearby  theater. 

The  Italians  have  now  almost  abandoned  the 
marionette  theater,  and  we  can  no  longer  find 
on  Mott,  Elizabeth,  and  Spring  Streets  the 
stuffy  little  theaters  filled  with  workingmen  (and 
an  occasional  woman),  sitting  enthralled  night 
after  night  while  from  the  wings  the  fine  voice 
of  the  reader  continued  the  story  of  Rinaldo 
and  other  popular  knights. 

The  puppet  theater  was  usually  a  family  af- 
fair. Its  members  slept  and  cooked  behind  the 
scenes,  alternating  in  reading  the  story  or  oper- 
ating the  puppet  figures  of  knights  and  ladies. 
One  hot  night  we  strolled  from  the  settlement 
to  a  marionette  theater  nearby  to  show  our 
guests  (among  them  a  theatrical  producer)  the 
simplicity  of  the  primitive  stage  still  to  be 
found  in  the  great  city. 







During  the  story  that  was  then  being  enacted 
a  doll,  representing  the  infant  heir,  was  dropped 
in  a  miniature  forest  to  be  rescued  by  the  val- 
orous knight.  At  that  moment  the  naked  baby 
of  the  proprietor  walked  out  from  the  wings, 
crossed  the  stage,  and  snatching  up  the  doll, 
clasped  it  tight  in  her  little  arms  and  disap- 
peared. The  audience  gave  no  sign  that  the  cur- 
rent of  their  enchantment  had  been  broken,  nor 
did  the  reader  or  the  manipulator  of  the  rescu- 
ing knight  pause  for  a  second  in  their  roles. 

The  theaters  on  the  Bowery  and  in  its  vicinity 
advertise  Italian  opera  and  occasional  revivals 
of  serious  drama,  but  more  obvious  at  present 
are  the  lurid  advertisements  of  sensational 
melodrama.  We  are  plainly  under  the  influ- 
ence of  Broadway  and  the  "  movies,"  but  at  the 
Metropolitan  Opera  House  our  neighbors  can 
always  be  seen  in  great  numbers  among  the 
"  appreciators  '  at  the  top  of  the  house. 

A  short  time  ago  an  unselfish  and  well- 
beloved  member  of  the  older  circle  of  Russian 
revolutionists  asked  me  to  help  him  establish 
a  comrade  on  some  self-supporting  basis,  and 
began  by  saying,  "  Being  a  literary  man,  he 
wants  to  open  a  restaurant."  The  fact  of  his 
being  "  literary  "  would  immediately  bring  him 


custom,  and  I  foresaw  another  meeting-place 
for  philosophers,  poets,  and  revolutionists,  grad- 
uates of  universities  or  gymnasia,  writers  and 
publicists,  students  familiar  with  Kant  and 
Comte  and  Spinoza. 

In  these  little  East  Side  cafe's,  over  a  steam- 
ing glass  of  tea  or  a 
temperate  meal,  endless 
discussions  take  place. 
In  the  groups  that  gath- 
er there  are  many  men 
of  education  who,  dur- 
ing their  first  years  in 
this  country,  worked  as 
cloakmakers,  tailors,  or 
factory  operatives  until 
they  were  able  to  ob- 
tain employment  more 
suited  to  their  aptitudes  or  talents. 

The  cafe's  and  the  bookshop  where  the  inter- 
esting proprietor  specializes  in  radical  literature 
are  the  meeting-places  for  the  "intellectuals," 
centers  from  which  radiate  influences  that  are 
not  insignificant.  As  they  prosper,  many  of 
these  men  move  their  families  to  other  parts  of 
the  city,  but  they  continue  to  be  East  Siders 
at  heart,  and  find  congenial  atmosphere  in  their 
old  haunts.  So  they  come  back  for  the  fellow- 
ship they  miss  in  their  new  habitations. 


The  saloons  of  the  neighborhood  touch  the 
life  of  an  entirely  different  set.  They  are  in- 
formal club-houses  for  many  men,  some  of 
whom  have  for  years  been  members  of  the  sanu- 
political  organization.  Not  that  the  organiza- 
tion trusts  to  the  saloon  alone.  All  through 


our  neighborhood  are  the  club-houses  main- 
tained for  members  of  the  party  who  are  kept 
together  through  social  intercourse. 

However,  among  workingmen,  the  saloon  may 
be  patronized  for  other  reasons  than  refresh- 
ment and  sociability.  When  I  expressed  to  a 
sober  man,  long  out  of  work,  my  surprise  that 
he  should  have  been  seen  going  into  a  saloon, 
he  explained  that  if  a  man  did  not  sometimes 
go  there  he  was  likely  to  be  out  of  work  a 
longer  time.  "  The  fellows  just  kind  of  talk 
about  jobs  when  they're  sittin'  round  in  the 
saloons,  and  sometimes  you  pick  up  something." 
His  reasoning  reminded  me  of  a  friend  who 
professed  indifference  to  the  numerous  expensive 
clubs  to  which  he  belonged,  but  found  them 
useful  in  his  business.  "  Often  a  chance  con- 
versation or  a  meeting  with  men  develops  into 
something  big." 

When   the   Empress  of  Austria   was   assassi- 
nated   in     1898    newspaper    reporters,    seeking 


"  color/'  asked  the  settlement's  direction  to 
anarchists  who,  in  the  excitement  of  the  time, 
were  believed  to  form  a  considerable  portion 
of  the  East  Side  population. 

I  recalled  two  men  who,  in  a  cellar  in  Grand 
Street,  had  a  few  rows  of  books  for  sale  which 
advertised  them  as  '  Dealers  in  Radical  Litera- 
ture." One  partner  proclaimed  himself  a  State 
Socialist,  the  other  a  Philosophic  Anarchist. 
The  latter,  mild  and  gentle,  devoted  disciple 
of  Prudhon,  with  whose  writings  he  was  fa- 
miliar, was  almost  pathetically  grateful,  and 
showed  not  altogether  complimentary  surprise 
when  we  purchased  Kropotkin's  "  Fields,  Fac- 
tories, and  Workshops,"  Tolstoi's  "My  Life," 
and  Walt  Whitman's  poems.  In  his  naive  sim- 
plicity he  assumed  that  only  those  unsure  of 
food  and  shelter  found  interest  in  such  litera- 
ture, and  later  he  and  his  partner,  in  all  serious- 
ness, proposed,  with  our  co-operation,  to  re- 
form society. 

They  had  decided,  after  much  thought,  that 
the  reason  the  people  they  met  at  the  settle- 
ment seemed  to  sympathize  and  understand 
was  because  of  the  books  they  read.  They  felt 
sorry  for  the  people  on  Fifth  Avenue  who,  liv- 
ing so  far  away  from  the  poor,  could  not  know 
how  things  might  be  remedied.  Their  plan  was 
that  I  should  rent  a  store  opening  on  the  ave- 


nue,  place  comfortable  chairs  and  tables  upon 
which  books  could  be  spread.  These  books  the 
merchants  would  loan,--their  whole  stock,  if 
necessary, — and  then  people  passing  on  foot  or 
driving  by  could  stop  and  read. 

Such  naivete  could  hardly  be  met  with  to- 
day, for  education  and  discussion  of  themes  of 
social  interest  have  widened  the  minds  of  the 
community  and  contact  with  people  of  different 
positions  in  life  is  much  more  general. 

Police  interference  with  free  speech  and  free 
assemblage  in  our  country  has  stirred  vigorous 
protest  from  sober  people  and  has  had  the  ef- 
fect of  kindling  enthusiasm  for  propaganda 
of  ultraradical  philosophies  among  those  who 
might  otherwise  never  have  given  thought  to 
them.  In  some  quarters  mere  radicalism  has 
become  perilously  popular.  The  spirit  of  ad- 
venture, a  kind  of  generous  devotion  not  always 
balanced  with  knowledge  of  definite  issues  or 
the  constructive  processes  that  are  under  way, 
deflect  forces  that  might  be  employed  for  im- 
mediate advances  in  social  welfare. 

I  recall  the  indignation  of  a  young  man,  just 
graduated  from  one  of  our  universities,  when 
chance  took  him  into  an  East  Side  hall  where  a 
well-known  anarchist  was  addressing  a  large 
and  attentive  audience  and  reading  selections 
from  Thoreau.  Without  any  obvious  provoca- 


tion  the  police  jumped  upon  the  platform, 
arrested  the  woman  and  those  who  sat  with 
her,  refused  them  permission  to  call  a  cab,  and 
drove  them  in  the  patrol  wagon  to  the  police 
station.  At  the  time  there  was  no  limit  to 
which  this  man  would  not  have  gone  to  show 
his  resentment  against  the  injustice  of  the  pro- 
ceeding, and  it  was  some  relief  to  his  chivalrous 
spirit  to  testify  against  the  police  and  to  use 
the  settlement's  experience  in  giving  publicity 
to  the  occurrence. 

Something  of  this  menace  to  cherished  Ameri- 
can institutions  lay  in  the  occurrences  at  Law- 
rence, Massachusetts,  during  the  winter  of  1912. 

Unsatisfactory  labor  conditions  gave  the  In- 
dustrial Workers  of  the  World  an  opportunity 
to  capture  the  loyalty  and  devotion  of  the  dis- 
contented operatives.  Reports  of  the  unwar- 
ranted action  of  police  and  militia  during  a 
strike  that  ensued,  the  imprisonment  of  the 
strike  leaders,  and  the  difficulty  of  securing  for 
them  an  impartial  hearing  were  incidents  too 
serious  to  be  lightly  dismissed  from  the  mind. 
I  went  to  Lawrence  at  that  time,  and  came  away 
reflecting  with  sadness  on  the  manifestations 
there  of  how  slight  is  our  hold  upon  civiliza- 
tion, how  insecure  our  reliance  upon  the  courts 
-for  justice  when  feelings  run  high. 

The   operatives'    story   had   not   reached   the 


general  public,  and  I  offered  the  House  on 
Henry  Street  as  one  medium  for  informing  peo- 
ple in  New  York  who  had  no  link  with  the 
working  people. 

A  participant  in  the  strike  came  to  us  to 
tell  the  story,  and  her  presentation,  on  the 
whole,  seemed  fair  and  reasonable.  It  was  no 
less  an  indictment  of  the  leaders  of  the  estab- 
lished labor  organizations  for  failure  to  unionize 
the  workers,  and  thereby  secure  better  wages 
and  shorter  hours,  than  of  the  capitalist,  who, 
the  speaker  thought,  should  be  held  responsible 
for  creating  the  conditions. 

The  reaction  of  the  audience  was  definite — 
that  the  workers  should  have  tangible  assurance 
of  the  existence  of  an  American  sentiment  for 
justice,  and  money  came  spontaneously  to  the 
settlement  to  be  sent  to  the  strikers  and  toward 
the  cost  of  the  defense  of  the  prisoners.  The 
New  York  press,  on  the  \vhole,  gave  fair  in- 
terpretation of  the  causes  of  discontent  and  the 
disturbing  consequences  to  society  of  what 
appeared  to  some  observers  to  be  anarchistic 
methods  on  the  part  of  those  in  authority. 

The  Social  Reform  Club,  organized  in  1894, 
was  a  factor  in  helping  to  stimulate  a  more  gen- 
eral public  interest  in  matters  of  social  concern. 


The  club  aimed  at  the  immediate  future,  and 
labored  solely  for  measures  that  had  a  fair 
promise  of  early  success.  Its  members,  wage- 
earners  and  non-wage-earners  in  almost  equal 
numbers,  were  required  to  have  '  a  deep  active 
interest  in  the  elevation  of  society,  especially 
by  the  improvement  of  the  condition  of  wage- 


Ernest  Crosby,  Tolstoian  and  reformer,  was 
the  first  president,  and  the  original  membership 
comprised  distinguished  men  and  women,  cour- 
ageous thinkers  who  fully  met  the  require- 
ments of  the  society,  and  others,  like  myself, 
who  were  to  gain  enlightenment  regarding 
methods  and  theories  for  the  direct  improve- 
ment of  industrial  and  social  conditions. 

Father  Ducey,  whose  support  of  Father 
McGlynn1  during  his  time  of  trial  was  then  still 
referred  to;  Charles  B.  Spahr,  and  others  no 
longer  living  were  among  the  organizers.  On 
the  club's  weekly  programmes  can  be  read  the 
names  of  men  and  women  who  were  then  and 
still  are  bearers  of  light  for  the  community. 
Devoted  members  of  the  club  testified  to  their 

1  Dr.  Edward  McGlynn  was  suspended  in  1884  under  charge  of 
advocacy  of  Henry  George  and  of  holding  opinions  regarding  the 
rights  of  property  not  in  accord  with  Catholic  teaching,  and  later 
excommunicated.  He  organized  the  famous  Anti-Poverty  Society  in 
1887.  In  1892  he  was  reinstated,  his  position  being  judged  not 
contrary  to  the  doctrine  of  the  Church  as  confirmed  by  the  En- 
cyclical Rerum  Novarum  issued  by  Leo  XIII  on  May  15,  1891. 


indebtedness  to  the  Knights  of  Labor  as  "  a 
great  educational  force  for  social  reform,"  and 
a  younger  generation  gained  immeasurably  from 
association  with  men  and  women  who  had 
given  themselves  unselfishly  to  the  early  labor 
movements  in  this  country. 

It  was  at  the  time  of  excessive  sweatshop 
abuses,  and  from  the  windows  of  our  tenement 
home  we  could  look  upon  figures  bent  over  the 
whirring  foot-power  machines.  One  room  in 
particular  almost  unnerved  us.  Never  did  we 
go  to  bed  so  late  or  rise  so  early  that  we  saw 
the  machines  at  rest,  and  the  unpleasant  con- 
ditions where  manufacturing  was  carried  on  in 
the  overcrowded  rooms  of  the  families  we 
nursed  disquieted  us  more  than  the  diseases  we 
were  trying  to  combat. 

Our  sympathies  were  ready  for  enlistment 
when  working  people  whom  we  knew,  and 
whose  sobriety  of  habits  and  mind  won  con- 
fidence and  esteem,  discussed  the  possibility  of 
improving  conditions  through  organization.  In 
another  place  I  have  told  how  the  young  girls 
first  led  us  into  the  trades  union  movement,  but 
now  where  the  standard  of  the  entire  family  was 
involved  through  the  wage  and  working  condi- 
tions of  its  chief  wage-earner,  it  became  to  us 
a  movement  of  greater  significance. 

We  were  accorded  a  doubtful  distinction  by 


acquaintances  who  had  no  point  of  contact  with 
working  people  when  we  acknowledged  friend- 
ship with  "  demagogues  '  and  "  walking  dele- 
gates '  (terms  which  they  used  interchange- 
ably), and,  inexperienced  though  we  were,  it 
was  possible  for  us,  in  a  small  way,  to  help 
build  a  bridge  of  understanding. 

Research  was  not  then  a  popular  expression 
of  social  interest.  Discussions  developed  the 
need  of  a  formal  investigation  into  conditions, 
and  a  distinguished  economist  of  Yale  was  asked 
to  send  someone  academic  and  '  without  feel- 
ing for  either  side,"  while  we  chose  a  labor 
leader,  well  informed  from  the  workers'  point 
of  view,  to  make  the  inquiry.  The  parapher- 
nalia of  cards,  filing  cabinets,  et  cetera,  was 
provided,  and  a  room  set  apart  in  the  settle- 
ment, but  the  investigation  ended  before  it  was 
fairly  begun  with  mutual  scorn  on  the  part  of 
the  two  men. 

Through  the  years  that  have  followed  the  set- 
tlement has  from  time  to  time  been  the  neutral 
ground  where  both  sides  might  meet,  or  has 
furnished  the  "  impartial  third  party  '  in  indus- 
trial disputes. 

One  such  conference  lingers  in  my  memory 
because  of  the  open-mindedness  shown  by  a  man 
whose  traditions  and  training  were  far  removed 
from  wage-earners'  problems.  A  friend  and 


generously  interested  in  all  our  undertakings, 
he  questioned  my  judgment  in  espousing  the 
workingmen's  side  in  a  threatened  strike,  be- 
lieving that  a  compromise  on  disputed  hours 
and  pay  during  that  unprosperous  time  was  bet- 
ter than  interrupted  employment.  We  believed 
that  the  "  half  loaf "  might  prove  too  costly. 
The  wage  was  already  below  a  living  minimum, 
and  the  workers'  contention  that  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  season  the  market  could  be  made 
to  meet  a  fair  charge  for  labor  seemed  to  us 
an  entirely  reasonable  one.  My  friend  agreed 
to  bring  representatives  of  the  manufacturers 
and  contractors  if  I  would  bring  an  equal  num- 
ber of  workers  to  a  conference  in  the  Henry 
Street  house,  over  which  he  would  preside.  No 
agreement  was  reached,  but  when  the  strike 
was  finally  declared  this  friend,  whose  wisdom 
and  experience  have  placed  him  high  in  the 
councils  of  the  nation,  had  come  to  see  that 
the  workers  could  not  do  otherwise,  and 
throughout  the  strike  he  aided  with  money  and 

Since  those  days  cloaks  are  no  longer  made 
in  New  York  tenement  homes,  and  the  once 
unhappy,  sweated  workers,  united  with  other 
garment-makers,  have  been  lifted  into  eminence 
because  of  the  unusual  character  of  their  organ- 


In  1910,  after  a  prolonged  strike,  peace  was  de- 
clared under  a  "  protocol,"  1  wherein  were  com- 
bined unique  methods  devised  for  the  control  of 
shops  and  adjustment  of  difficulties  between  the 
association  of  progressive  manufacturers  and 
the  trades  unions.  New  terms — "  a  preferential 
union  shop  '  and  the  "  Joint  Board  of  Sanitary 
Control  " — were  introduced.  Under  the  latter, 
for  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  indus- 
try, sanitary  standards  were  enforced  by  the 
trade  itself.  On  this  board,  the  expense  of  which 
was  shared  equally  by  the  association  of  manu- 
facturers and  the  trades  unions,  were  representa- 
tives of  both  organizations,  their  attorneys,  and 
three  representatives  of  the  public  unanimously 
elected  by  both  parties  to  the  agreement. 

When  I  was  asked  to  be  one  of  the  three 
representatives  of  the  public,  already  laden  with 
responsibilities  I  was  loath  to  accept  another, 
but  the  temptation  to  have  even  a  small  share 
in  the  socializing  of  industries  involving  in 
New  York  City  alone  nearly  100,000  people 
and  several  hundred  millions  of  dollars  was 

High  sanitary  standards  and  a  living  wage, 

1  See  reports  and  bulletins  of  the  Joint  Board  of  Sanitary  Con- 
trol (Dr.  George  Price,  Director),  also  Bulletins  Nos.  98,  144,  145, 
and  146  of  the  U.  S.  Department  of  Labor,  and  "  Sanitary  Control 
of  an  Industry  by  Itself,"  by  L.  D.  Wald,  in  the  report  of  the 
International  Congress  of  Hygiene  and  Demography,  1913. 


with  reasonable  hours  of  employment,  were  as- 
sured so  long  as  both  parties  submitted  to  the 
terms  of  the  protocol.  Whatever  changes  in 
the  administration  of  the  trade  agreement  may 
be  made,  the  protocol  has  established  certain 
principles  invaluable  for  the  present  and  for 
future  negotiations.  The  world  seemed  to  have 
moved  since  we  shuddered  over  the  long  hours 

and  the  germ-exposed  garments  in  the  tene- 

1  In  August,  1915,  the  protocol  was  succeeded  by  a  time  agree- 
ment of  two  years.  This  agreement  contains  the  main  principles  of 
the  protocol,  with  some  modifications  in  the  machinery  of  adjust- 



ILLUMINATING  anecdotes  might  be  told  of  the 
storm  and  stress  that  often  lie  beneath  the  sur- 
face of  the  immigrant's  experience  from  the 
time  he  purchases  his  ticket  in  the  old  country 
until  the  gates  at  Ellis  Island  close  behind  him 

and  the  process  of  assimilation 
begins.  That  he  has  so  often 
been  left  rudderless  in  strange 
seas  forms  a  chapter  in  the 
history  of  this  "  land  of  op- 
portunity '  that  cannot  be 

The  confusion  of  the  stran- 
ger, unable  to  speak  the  lan- 
guage and  encountering  un- 
familiar laws  and  institutions, 
often  has  tragic  results.  Once 
in  searching  for  a  patient  in 
a  large  tenement  near  the 
Bowery  I  knocked  at  each  door  in  turn.  An 
Italian  woman  hesitatingly  opened  one,  no  wider 

than  to  give  me  a  glimpse  of  a  slight  creature 



obviously  stricken  with  fear.  Her  face  brought 
instantly  to  my  mind  the  famous  picture  of  the 
sorrowing  mother.  "  Dolorosu !  "  I  said.  The 
tone  and  the  word  sufficed,  and  she  opened  the 
door  wide  enough  to  let  me  enter.  In  a  corner 
of  the  room  lay  two  children  with  marks  of  star- 
vation upon  them. 

Laying  my  hat  and  bag  upon  the  table,  to 
indicate  that  I  would  return,  I  flew  to  the  near- 
est grocery  for  food,  taking  time,  while  my 
purchases  were  being  made  ready,  to  telephone 
to  a  distinguished  Italian  upon  whose  interest 
and  sympathy  I  could  rely  to  meet  me  at  the 
tenement,  that  we  might  learn  the  cause  of  this 
obvious  distress. 

My  friend  arrived  before  I  had  finished  feed- 
ing the  children,  and  to  him  the  little  mother 
poured  forth  her  tale.  She,  with  three  chil- 
dren, had  arrived  some  days  before,  to  meet  the 
husband  who  had  preceded  her  and  had  pre- 
pared the  home  for  them.  One  bambina  was 
ill  when  they  reached  port,  and  it  was  taken 
from  her,  why  she  could  not  explain.  She  was 
allowed  to  land  with  the  other  two  and  join 
her  husband,  and  the  following  day,  in  answer 
to  their  frantic  inquiries,  they  learned  that  the 
child  had  been  taken  to  a  hospital  and  had  died 
there.  Then  her  husband  was  arrested,  and  she, 
unacquainted  with  a  single  human  being  in  the 


city,  found  herself  alone  with  two  starving 
children,  too  frightened  to  open  the  door  or  to 
venture  upon  the  street.  She  thought  her  hus- 
band was  imprisoned  somewhere  nearby. 

My  friend  and  I  went  together  to  the  Ludlow 
Street  jail,  and  here  a  curious  thing  occurred. 
We  merely  inquired  for  the  prisoner;  we  asked 
no  questions.  His  cell  door  was  opened  and  he 
was  released.  Later  I  learned  that  he  had 
been  arrested  because  of  failure  to  make  a  satis- 
factory payment  on  a  watch  he  was  buying  on 
the  installment  plan.  There  must  have  been 
gross  irregularity  in  the  transaction,  judging 
by  the  willingness  to  release  him  and  the  fact 
that  his  creditor  failed  to  appear  against  him. 
It  was  hinted,  at  the  time,  that  there  was  col- 
lusion between  the  installment  plan  dealers  and 
the  prison  officials. 

A  pleasanter  story  is  that  of  the  B family. 

One  evening  two  neighborhood  women,  shawls 
over  their  heads,  called  to  ask  if  I  would  con- 
tribute to  a  fund  they  were  raising  to  furnish 
quarters  for  a  family  just  arrived  from  Ellis 
Island.  When  I  expressed  wonder  that  they 
should  have  been  permitted  to  land  in  a  pen- 
niless condition  the  women  shrugged  their 
shoulders  in  characteristic  fashion  and  said, 

Well,  they're  here,  and  we  must  do  some- 


Not    wishing    to     refuse,    or    to    participate 
blindly,  I  asked  for  the  whereabouts  of  the  man 
of  the  family.      I   found   him   in   a   basement,   a 
very  dignified,  gray-haired  cobbler,  between  40 
and   45   years   of  age.      When    I   asked   how   it 
happened    that   the   first    step   of   his    family    in 
America  should  be  to  claim  help  in  this  way  he 
explained  the  compli- 
cations in  which  they 
had     been     involved. 
He   had  preceded  his 
family     to     make     a 
home    for    them,    and 
after  some  years  had 
sent  money  for  steam- 
er   tickets    for    them. 
When  they  arrived  at 
the   frontier,  owing  to  some   technicality,   they 
were  sent  back.     He  had  sent  more  money  to 
defray  the  additional  expenses;  then  himself  had 
been  compelled  to  undergo  an  operation  for  ap- 
pendicitis, which  took  all  he  had  hoarded  to  fur- 
nish the  home.     He  was  just  out  of  the  hospital 
when  wife  and  children  arrived. 

Appreciating  the  importance  of  having  the 
family  begin  life  in  their  new  environment  with 
dignity  and  self-respect,  an  offer  was  made  to 
loan  him  money  if  he  would  recall  the  women 
who  were  begging  for  him.  Together  we  fig- 


ured  out  the  minimum  sum  needed,  and  within 
an  hour  the  twenty-five  dollars  was  in  his  hands 
and  he  had  recalled  the  women  with  joy.  He 
took  the  loan  without  exaggerated  protest  or 
gratitude,  merely  saying:  "  As  there  is  a  God 
in  heaven  you  will  not  regret  this/3 

He  was  a  skillful  cobbler  and  the  wife  a  good 
housekeeper,  and  in  six  months  they  brought 
back  the  twenty-five  dollars.  It  was  pleasanter 
not  to  think  of  the  pinching  in  the  household 
that  made  this  prompt  repayment  possible. 
Some  time  later  he  brought  me  forty  dollars 
which  the  family  had  saved,  saying  he  knew 
it  would  give  me  pleasure  to  start  the  savings- 
bank  account  which  they  would  need  for  the 
education  of  the  children.  The  subsequent  his- 
tory of  this  family,  like  many  another  known 
to  us  in  Henry  Street,  shows  the  real  con- 
tribution brought  into  American  life  by  immi- 
grants of  this  character. 

In  discussions  throughout  the  country  of  the 
problems  of  immigration  it  is  significant  that 
few,  if  any,  of  the  .men  and  women  who  have 
had  extended  opportunity  for  social  contact 
with  the  foreigner  favor  a  further  restriction  of 

The  government's  policy  regarding  the  immi- 


grant  has  been  negative,  concerned  with  exclu- 
sion and  deportation,  with  the  head  tax  and 
the  enforcement  of  treaties  and  international 

agreements.  By  our  laws  we  are  protected  from 
the  pauper,  the  sick,  and  the  vicious;  but  only 
within  recent  years  has  a  hearing  been  given  to 
those  who  have  asked  that  our  government  as- 
sume an  affirmative  policy  of  protection,  distri- 
bution, and  assimilation. 

The  need  of  constructive  social  measures  has 
long  been  indicated.     The  planting  of  roots  in 


the  new  soil  can  best  be  accomplished  through 
an  intercourse  with  the  immigrant  in  which  the 
dignity  of  the  individual  and  of  the  family  is 
recognized.  Heroic  measures  may  be  necessary 
to  establish  a  satisfactory  system  of  distri- 
bution, and  these  measures  must  be  based 
on  a  philosophic  understanding  of  democracy. 
Among  them  should  be  provision  for  giving  in- 
struction to  the  prospective  immigrant  in  regard 
to  those  laws,  customs,  or  prohibitions  with 
which  he  is  liable  to  come  in  contact,  and  also 
in  regard  to  the  industrial  opportunities  open 
to  him.  Then,  with  competent  medical  exam- 
ination at  the  port  of  departure  and  humane 
consideration  there  and  here,  the  tragedies  now 
so  frequent  at  the  port  of  arrival  might  be 
diminished,  or  even  eliminated  altogether. 

In  turn,  the  private  banker,  the  employment 
agent,  the  ticket  broker,  the  lawyer,  and  the 
notary  public  have  battened  upon  the  helpless- 
ness of  the  immigrant.  Our  experience  has  con- 
vinced us  that  in  the  interest  of  the  state  itself 
the  future  citizens  should  be  made  to  feel  that 
protection  and  fair  treatment  are  accorded  by 
the  state.  The  greater  number  of  immigrants 
who  come  to  us  are  adults  for  whose  upbringing 
this  country  has  been  at  no  expense.  It  would 
seem  only  just  to  give  them  special  protection 
during  their  first  years  in  the  country,  to  en- 


courage  confidence  in  our  institutions,  and  to 
promote  assimilation.  From  an  academic  point 
of  view,  it  might  be  said  that  all  institutions 
for  the  citizen  are  available  to  the  immigrant, 
but  the  statement  carries  with  it  an  implication 
of  equal  ability  on  the  part  of  the 
latter  to  utilize  these  institutions, 
and  this  is  not  borne  out  by  the 
experience  of  those  familiar  with 
actual  conditions. 

Such  thoughts  as  these  lay 
back  of  an  invitation  to  Gov- 
ernor Hughes  to  dine  and  spend 
an  evening  at  the  settlement  and  there  meet 
the  colleagues  who  could  speak  with  authority 
on  these  matters. 

The  Governor  left  us  armed  with  maps  and 
documentary  evidence.  A  few  months  later  the 
legislature  authorized  the  creation  of  a  commis- 
sion to  "  make  full  inquiry,  examination,  and 
investigation  into  the  condition,  welfare,  and 
industrial  opportunities  of  aliens  in  the  State 
of  New  York."  Among  its  nine  members  were 
two  women,  Frances  Kellor  and  myself.  Upon 
the  recommendation  of  that  commission  the 
New  York  Bureau  of  Industries  and  Immigra- 
tion of  the  Department  of  Labor  was  created.1 

1  Report  of   Commission   on   Immigration   of   the    State   of    New 
York  transmitted  to  the  legislature  in  April,  1909. 


Miss  Kellor,  the  first  woman  to  be  head  of  a 
state  bureau,  became  its  chief. 

Pending  the  enactment  of  legislation,  she  and 
I,  with  a  photographer  and  a  sympathetic  com- 
panion interested  in  questions  of  labor,  motored 
over  the  state  examining  the  construction 
camps  of  the  barge  canal  (a  state  contract), 
the  camps  connected  with  the  city's  great  new 
aqueduct,  and  some  of  the  canning  establish- 

In  the  latter  we  found  ample  illustration  of 
indifference  on  the  part  of  private  employers. 
In  the  camps  surrounding  the  canneries  were 
large  numbers  of  idle  children  who  should  have 
been  in  school.  The  local  authorities  were,  per- 
haps not  unnaturally,  indisposed  to  enforce  the 
compulsory  education  law  upon  these  children 
whose  stay  in  the  community  was  to  be  a  tran- 
sient one.  In  the  public  work  the  New  York 
City  contracts,  with  few  exceptions,  showed 
carefully  thought-out  and  standardized  condi- 
tions for  the  men;  but  examination  of  the  state 
contracts  showed  that  while  elaborate  provision 
had  been  made  for  the  expert  handling  of  every 
other  detail  connected  with  the  work,  even  to 
the  stabling  of  the  mules,  nowhere  was  any 
mention  made  of  the  men. 

In  a  shack  that  held  three  tiers  of  bunks, 
occupied  alternately  by  the  day  and  night 


shifts,  with  a  cook-stove  in  a  little  clearing  in 
the  middle,  we  found  a  homesick  man,  wlm 
chanced  not  to  be  on  the  works,  reading  a  book. 
When  we  engaged  in  conversation  with  him 
he  pointed  contemptuously  to  the  bunks  and 
their  dirty  coverings,  and  said,  "  This  Amer- 

A  f''mm 



ica!     I   show  you   Rome,"   and   produced   from 
under  his  bed  a  photograph  of  the  Coliseum. 

The  commission  exposed  many  forms  of  ex- 
ploitation of  the  immigrant,  and  subsequent 
reports  have  corroborated  its  findings.  Some 
safeguards  have  now  been  established,  and  the 
reports  of  the  Bureau  of  Industries  and  Immi- 
gration in  the  first  years  of  its  existence  bore 
interesting  testimony  to  its  practical  and  social 
value.  The  significance  of  the  indifference  of 
the  state  to  its  employees,  as  it  appeared  to  the 


investigators,  was  given  publicity  at  the  time, 
and  roused  comment  and  discussion.  I  quote 
from  it  as  follows: 

"  The  state,  as  employer,  alone  determines  the 
terms  upon  which  its  new  canal  shall  be  built. 
It  defines  in  great  detail  its  standard  of  mate- 
rials and  workmanship,  but  takes  no  thought 
for  the  workmen  who  must  operate  in  great 
transient  groups.  It  does  not  leave  to  chance 
the  realization  of  its  material  standard,  but 
sends  inspectors  to  make  tests  and  provides  a 
staff  of  engineers.  It  does  leave  to  chance  (in 
the  ignorance  and  cupidity  of  padroni)  the  qual- 
ity and  price  of  foods  and  care  of  the  men.  It 
takes  great  care  to  prevent  the  freezing  of 
cement,  but  permits  any  kind  of  houses  to  be 
used  for  its  laborers.  It  is  wholly  indifferent 
as  to  how  they  are  ventilated,  lighted,  or  heated, 
how  many  men  sleep  in  them,  or  whether  the 
sleeping  quarters  are  also  used  for  cooking  and 
eating  and  the  bunks  as  cupboards.  Neither 
does  it  care  whether  the  men  can  keep  them- 
selves or  their  clothes  clean. 

The  simplest  standards  which  military  his- 
tory shows  are  essential  in  handling  such  ar- 
tificial bodies  of  people  are  grossly  violated. 
Sanitary  conveniences  are  sometimes  entirely 
omitted;  the  men  drink  any  kind  of  water  they 
can  obtain,  and  filthy  grounds  are  of  no  evident 


concern.  The  state  does  not  inquire  whether 
there  are  hospitals  or  physicians,  medicine, 
emergency  aids,  or  anything  of  the  kind.  No- 
tice is  taken  of  gambling,  drunkenness,  and  im- 
morality only  when  they  impair  the  efliciencv 
of  the  men.  .  .  .  Men  left  alone  in  these  infer- 
able, uninspected  shacks,  where  vermin  and 
dirt  prevail  .  .  .  must  inevitably  deteriorate. 
The  testimony  of  contractors  themselves  is  that 
many  of  the  laborers  become  nomads,  drifting 
from  camp  to  camp,  drinking,  quarreling,  and 
averse  to  steady  work. 

We  commend  this  responsibility  in  all  its 
phases  to  the  various  state  departments  charged 
with  education,  health,  letting  of  contracts,  pay- 
ment of  bills,  supervision  of  highways  and 
waterways,  and  protection  of  laborers.  We  ask 
the  state  as  employer  to  consider  its  gain  from 
the  men  at  the  most  productive  periods  of  their 
lives;  we  ask  the  state  to  measure  the  influence 
of  this  life  upon  its  future  citizens  during  their 
first  years  in  the  country  when  they  are  most 
receptive  to  impressions  of  America." 

Quite  recently  the  Public  Health  Council  of 
the  New  York  State  Department  of  Health  has 
adopted  a  sanitary  code  for  all  labor  camps. 

It   is   impossible    to   compute   the    sums    that 

1  "  The  Construction  Camps  of  the  People."  by  Lillian  D.  Wald 
and  Frances  A.  Kellor  (The  Survey,  January  i,  1910). 


have  been  lost  by  immigrants  through  fake 
banks,  fake  express  companies,  and  irresponsible 
steamship  agencies.  In  New  York  State  these 
were  practically  legislated  out  of  existence 
through  the  efforts  of  the  Commission  of  Im- 
migration of  1909  just  referred  to,  yet  in  the 
winter  of  1914-15  approximately  $12,000,000 
was  lost  on  the  lower  East  Side  by  the  failure 
of  private  banks,  sweeping  away  the  savings 
and  capital  of  between  60,000  and  70,000  de- 
positors. Happily,  the  postal  savings  bank  has 
come,  and  is  already  much  used  by  immigrants, 
incidentally  keeping  a  large  amount  of  money  in 
this  country.  In  important  centers  the  stations 
might  be  socialized  to  the  still  greater  advan- 
tage of  the  depositors  and  the  service  by  having 
someone  assigned  to  interpret,  to  write  ad- 
dresses and  give  information.  These  favors 
have  been  the  bait  held  out  to  the  timid 
stranger  by  the  private  agencies. 

Perhaps  an  even  greater  loss  has  come  to  us 
through  the  land-sale  deceptions.  Farms  cul- 
tivated in  New  York  State  are  actually  decreas- 
ing, while  the  population  increases.  The  census 
of  1900-1910  shows  4.9  per  cent,  decrease  of 
farms  and  25.4  per  cent,  increase  of  population. 
Great  numbers  of  the  immigrants  are  peasants, 
and  land-hungry,  and  if  there  was  a  policy 
throughout  the  states  of  registration  of  land  for 







prospective  settlers,  and  if  severe  penalties 
attached  to  land  frauds,  I  have  little  doubt 
that  valuable  workers  might  be  directed  to  the 
enormous  areas  that  need  cultivation.  "  I  am 
an  agriculturist,"  said  a  man  who  found  his  way 
to  the  settlement  to  tell  his  troubles,  "  and  I  pull 
out  nails  in  a  box  factory  in  New  York."  His 
entire  family  have  followed  him  to  the  land  that 
he  is  now  cultivating. 

One  winter  a  number  of  peasants  from  the 
Baltic  provinces  found  themselves  stranded  in 
New  York.  It  was  a  period  of  unemployment, 
and  they  could  find  no  work.  Unaccustomed  to 
cities,  they  eagerly  seized  upon  an  opportunity 
to  leave  New  York.  At  the  settlement,  where 
they  were  assembled,  a  state  official  told 
them  of  wood-cutters  needed- -in  Herkimer 
County,  as  I  remember  it.  An  advertisement 
called  for  forty  men,  and  the  responsibility  of 
the  advertiser  was  vouched  for  by  the  local 

"Who  can  cut  trees?'  I  asked.  A  shout 
went  up  from  these  countrymen-  Who  can- 
not cut  trees?'  Forty  to  go?  Everyone  was 
ready.  So  we  financed  them  in  their  quest  for 
work,  and  bade  good-by  to  a  radiant,  grateful 
group.  Alas!  only  four  men  were  needed.  The 
contractor  preferred  to  have  a  larger  number 
come,  that  he  might  make  selection.  And  this 


is  not  an  exceptional  instance.  Ask  the  itiner- 
ant workers,  the  tramps  even,  how  much  faith 
can  be  placed  in  the  advertisements  of  "  Hands 
Wanted '  in  the  East  and  in  the  West  at  the 
gathering  of  the  crops. 

The  possibility  of  deflecting  people  to  the 
land  has  been  demonstrated  by  Jewish  societies 
in  New  York,  and  with  proper  support  other 
organizations  interested  in  this  phase  of  the 
immigrant's  welfare  might  repeat  their  success. 
Such  programmes  of  distribution,  however,  can- 
not be  carried  out  without  effective  co-opera- 
tion from  the  people  in  the  rural  regions, 
and  assimilative  processes  will  not  be  wholly 
successful  until  the  native-born  American  is 
freed  from  some  of  his  prejudices  and  provin- 

An  unsocial  attitude  in  the  country  naturally 
drives  the  stranger  to  an  intensive  colony  life 
which  accentuates  the  disadvantages  of  the  bar- 
riers he  and  we  build  up. 

An  experience  in  Westchester  County  illus- 
trates this  very  well.  We  were  seeking  lodgings 
for  two  intelligent  and  attractive  young  Italians 
who  were  working  on  a  dam  at  one  of  our  set- 
tlement country  places.  Incidentally,  the  work 
they  were  doing  was  quite  beyond  the  powers 
of  any  native  workers  in  the  vicinity  of  whom 
we  could  hear.  We  asked  an  old  native  couple, 


squatters  on  some  adjacent  land,  to  rent  an  un- 
occupied floor  of  their  house  to  the  two  y<»un^ 
men.  The  man,  despite  their  extremely  indigent 
condition  (the  wife  went  to  the  almshou-e  a 
short  time  after),  absolutely  refused,  fearing  the 
loss  of  social  prestige  if  they  "  lived  in  the 
house  with  dagoes." 

Perhaps,  having  little  else,  they  were  justified 
in  clinging  to  their  social  exclusiveness,  but 
their  action  in  this  case  illustrates  the  almost 
universal  attitude  toward  the  immigrant,  par- 
ticularly the  more  recent  ones,  and  perhaps 
only  those  who  have  felt  the  isolation  and  lone- 
liness of  the  newcomer  can  comprehend  its 

An  educated  Chinese  merchant  \vho  once 
called  at  the  settlement  apologized  for  the 
eagerness  with  which  he  accepted  an  offer  to 
show  him  over  the  house,  explaining  that  al- 
though he  had  been  thirty  years  in  this  country 
ours  was  the  first  American  home  he  had  been 
invited  to  enter. 

We  need  also  to  analyze  the  philosophy  of 
much  of  the  discrimination  against  aliens  in  the 
matter  of  employment,  and  it  is  not  pleasant 
to  remember  that  until  recently  a  state  employ- 
ing an  enormous  number  of  foreign  workers 
forbade  the  bringing  of  suit  by  the  non-resident 
family  of  the  alien,  although  he  might  have 


lost  his  life  in  an  accident  through  no  fault  of 
his  own. 

Scorn  of  the  immigrant  is  not  peculiar  to  our 
generation.  A  search  of  old  newspaper  files 
will  show  that  the  arrival  of  great  numbers  of 
immigrants  of  any  one  nationality  has  always 
been  considered  a  problem.  In  turn  each  na- 
tionality as  it  became  established  in  the  new 
country  has  considered  the  next-comers  a  dan- 


ger.  The  early  history  of  Pennsylvania  records 
the  hostility  to  the  Germans — "  fear  dominated 
the  minds  of  the  Colonists  " — despite  the  fact 
that  the  German  invaders  were  land-owning  and 
good  farmers. 

An  Irish  boy  observed  to  one  of  our  resi- 
dents that  on  Easter  Day  he  intended  to  kill 
his  little  Jewish  classmate.  Having  had  long 
experience  of  the  vigorous  language  and  kind 
heart  of  the  young  Celt,  she  paid  little  atten- 
tion to  the  threat,  but  was  more  startled  when 
the  soft-eyed  Francesco  chimed  in  that  he  was 
also  going  to  destroy  him  ;  because  he  killed 
my  Gawd."  "  But/'  said  the  teacher,  "  Christ 
was  a  Jew."  "  Yes,  I  know,"  answered  the 
young  defender  of  the  faith,  "  He  was  then,  but 
He's  an  American  now." 

Despite  its  absurdity,  was  not  the  boy's  con- 
ception an  exaggerated  illustration  of  that  sur- 
face patriotism  which  is  almost  universally 


stimulated    and    out    of    which    soul-deade 
prejudices   may   grow — may   take   root   even    in 
the  public  schools? 

Great  is  our  loss  when  a  shallow  Americanism 
is  accepted  by  the  newly  arrived  immigrant, 
more  particularly  by  the  children,  and  their 
national  traditions  and  heroes  are  ruthle^ly 
pushed  aside.  The  young  people  have  usually 
to  be  urged  by  someone  outside  their  own  group 
to  recognize  the  importance  and  value  of  cus- 
toms, and  even  of  ethical  teaching,  when  given 
in  a  foreign  language,  or  by  old-world  people 
with  whom  the  new  American  does  not  wish 
to  be  associated  in  the  minds  of  his  acquaint- 
ances. This  does  not  apply  only  to  the  recent 
immigrant,  to  whom  his  children  often  hear 
contemptuous  terms  applied.  I  remember  at- 
tending a  public  hearing  before  the  Department 
of  Education  of  New  York  City  at  which  Ger- 
mans vigorously  urged  the  study  of  their  native 
tongue  in  the  public  schools,  because  of  the  im- 
possibility of  persuading  their  children  to  learn 
or  use  the  language  by  any  other  means  than 
that  of  having  it  made  a  part  of  the  great 
American  public  school  system. 

It  is  difficult  to  find  evidence  of  any  serious 
effort  on  our  part  to  comprehend  the  mental 


reaction  upon  the  immigrant  of  the  American 
institutions  he  encounters.  Indeed,  gathering 
up  the  story  of  the  immigrant,  I  sometimes  won- 
der if  he,  like  the  fairies,  does  not  hold  up  a 
magic  mirror  wherein  our  social  ethics  are  re- 
flected, rather  than  his  own  visage. 

What  we  are  to  the  immigrant  in  our  civic, 
social,  and  ethical  relations  is  quite  as  impor- 
tant as  what  he  is  to  us.  We  risk  destruction  of 
the  spirit — that  element  of  life  that  makes  it 
human — when  we  disregard  our  neighbor's  per- 

Recent  discussion  of  immigration  bills  fo- 
cuses attention  on  two  points  deemed  of 
fundamental  importance  by  the  settlement 

Three  Presidents  have  vetoed  bills  for  the 
restriction  of  immigration  by  means  of  a  literacy 
test  or  by  conditions  that  would  virtually  deny 
the  right  of  asylum  for  political  refugees.  Once, 
in  addressing  a  committee  of  the  House  on 
such  proposed  legislation,  I  protested  against  a 
departure  from  our  tradition  and  reminded  the 
members  of  the  committee  of  the  splendid 
Americans  who  would  have  been  lost  to  this 
country  had  the  door  been  so  closed  upon  them. 
A  young  physician  of  Polish  parentage  followed, 


and  his  cultured  diction  and  attractive  appear- 
ance lent  emphasis  to  his  story.  "  My  father," 
he  said,  'came  an  illiterate  to  this  country  be- 
cause the  priest  of  his  parish  happened  not  to 
be  interested  in  education,  not  because  my 
father  was  indifferent.  He  has  struggled  all  his 
life  to  give  his  children  what  he  himself  could 
never  have,  and  has  worshiped  the  country  that 
gave  us  opportunity." 

In  his  veto  of  the  bill  President  Wilson  ad- 
mirably formulated  his  reasons  for  opposing 
restriction  of  this  character,  and  as  these  are 
exactly  the  arguments  upon  which  social  work- 
ers have  based  their  objections,  I  cannot  do 
better  than  quote  him  here: 

"  In  two  particulars  of  vital  consequence  this 
bill  embodies  a  radical  departure  from  the  tra- 
ditional and  long-established  policy  of  this 
country,  a  policy  in  which  our  people  have  con- 
ceived the  very  character  of  their  government 
to  be  expressed,  the  very  mission  and  spirit  of 
the  nation  in  respect  of  its  relations  to  the 
peoples  of  the  world  outside  their  borders.  It 
seeks  to  all  but  close  entirely  the  gates  of 
asylum,  which  have  always  been  open  to  those 
who  could  find  nowhere  else  the  right  and  op- 
portunity of  constitutional  agitation  for  what 
they  conceived  to  be  the  natural  and  inalien- 
able rights  of  men,  and  it  excludes  those  to 


whom  the  opportunities  of  elementary  educa- 
tion have  been  denied  without  regard  to  their 
character,  their  purposes,  or  their  natural 

The  immigrant  brings  in  a  steady  stream  of 
new  life  and  new  blood  to  the  nation.  The  un- 
skilled have  made  possible  the  construction  of 
great  engineering  works,  have  helped  to  build 
bridges  and  roadways  above  and  under  ground. 
The  number  of  skilled  artisans  and  craftsmen 

among  immigrants  and 
the  contribution  they  make 
to  the  cultural  side  of  our 
national  life  are  too  rarely 
emphasized.  Alas  for  our 
educational  system!  we 
must  still  look  abroad  for 
the  expert  cabinet-maker 
or  stone-carver,  the  weav- 
er of  tapestry,  or  the  ar- 
tistic worker  in  metals, 
precious  or  base. 
In  another  place  I  have  spoken  of  the  rise 
of  certain  needle  trades  from  those  of  sweaters 
and  sweaters'  victims  to  a  standardized  indus- 
try, with  an  output  estimated  at  hundreds  of 
millions  yearly.  The  industry  of  cloak-  and  suit- 
making  has  been  to  a  large  extent  developed 


by  the  immigrants  themselves.  When  the 
stranger  looks  upon  the  loft  buildings  in  other 
parts  of  the  city,  gigantic  beehives  with  the 
swarms  of  workers  going  in  and  out,  he  seldom 
comprehends  that  great  wealth  has  been  created 
for  the  community  by  these  humble  workers. 

The  man  who  now  stands  at  the  gates  of  Ellis 
Island  turns  his  socially  trained  mind  toward  the 
development  of  methods  for  the  protection  and 
assimilation  of  the  immigrant  after  the  gates 
have  closed  upon  him.  But  the  best  conceived 
plans  of  this  Commissioner  of  Immigration 
and  others  who  have  long  studied  the  question 
will  be  fruitless  unless,  throughout  the  country, 
an  intelligent  and  respectful  attitude  toward  the 
stranger  is  sedulously  cultivated. 

In  the  early  glow  of  our  enthusiasm,  when  we 
were  first  brought  in  contact  with  the  immi- 
grant, we  dreamed  of  making  his  coming  of 
age — his  admission  to  citizenship — something  of 
a  rite.  Many  who  come  here  to  escape  perse- 
cution or  the  hardships  suffered  under  a  mili- 
taristic government  idealize  America.  They 
bring  an  enthusiasm  for  our  institutions  that 
would  make  it  natural  to  regard  admission  to 
the  rights  and  responsibilities  of  citizenship 
with  seriousness.  Years  ago  we  urged  the  use 
of  school  buildings,  that  registration  and  the 
casting  of  the  ballot  might  be  dignified  by 


formal   surroundings.     This   has  been   done  in 
several  cities,  although  not  yet  in  New  York. 

The  foreign  press,  particularly  the  Yiddish, 
has  a  distinct  Americanizing  influence.  Many 
adults  never  learn  the  new  language  and,  indeed, 
acquire  here  the  habit  of  newspaper-reading. 
The  history  of  the  United  States,  biographies 
of  George  Washington,  Abraham  Lincoln,  and 
other  distinguished  Americans  appear  in  the 
pages  of  these  papers,  and  one  Italian  daily  pub- 
lished serially  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States.  Effective,  too,  as  an  educational  and 
assimilating  measure  have  been  the  lectures  in 
foreign  languages  conducted  for  many  years  by 
the  Educational  Alliance  on  East  Broadway  and 
by  the  various  settlements,  and  included,  for 
some  years  past,  in  the  evening  courses  of  the 
Department  of  Education. 

In  our  neighborhood  the  physical  changes  of 
the  last  twenty  years  have  been  great.  Since 
that  first  disturbing  walk  with  the  little  girl 
to  the  rear  tenement  on  Ludlow  Street  asphalt 
has  replaced  unclean,  rough  pavements;  beauti- 
ful school  buildings  (some  the  finest  in  the 
world)  have  been  erected;  streets  have  been  al- 
tered, and  rows  of  houses  demolished  to  make 
room  for  new  bridges  and  small  parks.  Subway 

There  is  a  stream  of  inflowing  life 


tubes  take  the  working  population  to  scatterc-! 
parts  of  the  greater  city;  piers  have  been  built 
for  recreation  purposes,  and  a  chain  of  small 
free  libraries  of  beautiful  design.  A  Tenement 
House  Department  has  been  created,  chargi-d 
with  supervision  and  enforcement  of  the  laws 
regulating  the  housing  of  80  per  cent,  of  the 
city's  population,  and  so  far  assaults  upon  this 
protective  legislation  have  been  repulsed,  despite 
the  tireless  lobby  of  the  owners  year  after  year. 
As  our  neighbors  have  prospered  many  have 
moved  to  quarters  where  they  find  better  houses, 
less  congestion,  more  bathtubs;  but  an  enor- 
mous working  population  still  finds  occupation 
in  the  lower  part  of  the  city.  Carfare  is  an 
expense,  and  time  spent  in  overcrowded  cars, 
which  scarcely  afford  standing-room,  adds  to 
the  exhaustion  of  the  long  day,  and  these  con- 
siderations keep  many  near  the  workshop.  De- 
spite the  exodus,  we  still  remain  an  overcrowded 
region  of  overcrowded  homes.  Through  the 
tenements  there  is  a  stream  of  inflowing  as  well 
as  outflowing  life.  The  newcomer  finds  a  lodg- 
ing-place most  readily  in  this  vicinity,  and  the 
East  Side  is  the  shore  of  the  harbor. 

The  settlements  have  been  before  the  public 
long  enough  to  have  lost  the  glamour  of  moral 


adventure  that  was  associated  with  their  early 
days.  Many  who  were  identified  with  them 
then  have  steadfastly  remained,  although  real- 
izing, as  one  of  them  has  said,  that  high  pur- 
pose has  often  been  mocked  by  petty  achieve- 

A  characteristic  service  of  the  settlement  to 
the  public  grows  out  of  its  opportunities  for 
creating  and  informing  public  opinion.  Its 
flexibility  as  an  instrument  makes  it  pliant  to 
the  essential  demands  made  upon  it;  uncom- 
mitted to  a  fixed  programme,  it  can  move  with 
the  times. 

Out  of  the  enthusiasms  and  out  of  the  sym- 
pathies of  those  who  come  to  it,  though  they 
be  sometimes  crude  and  formless,  a  force  is  cre- 
ated that  makes  for  progress.  For  these,  as 
well  as  for  the  helpless  and  ignorant  who  seek 
aid  and  counsel,  the  settlement  performs  a  func- 

The  visitors  who  come  from  all  parts  of 
the  world  and  exchange  views  and  experiences 
prove  how  absurd  are  frontiers  between  honest- 
thinking  men  and  women  of  different  nationali- 
ties or  different  classes.  Human  interest  and 
passion  for  human  progress  break  down  barriers 
centuries  old.  They  form  a  tie  that  binds  closer 
than  any  conventional  relationship. 


PARK     BRf.Nr.H  lO2     C/*ST    BRQAO'Vav 


Adams,   Maude,  87 
Adolescence,    problems    of,    and 
settlement      work,      170-179, 

Anarchism,  274-279 

Archer,  William,  272 

Bellevue  Hospital,  28,  59 
Bialystok  massacre,  230 
Breshkovsky,      Katharine,     238- 

Brewster,    Mary,   8,    10,    16,   45, 

48,  78,  113 

Budget  of  a  working-girl,  194; 
her  "two  jobs,"  211 

Cafes,   bookshops,   and   saloons, 

Child   Hygiene,   Bureau   of,   53, 

57,  59 

Child  labor: 

Children  who  work,  135-151 ; 
conditions  in  New  York 
City,  135-137,— in  Pennsyl- 
vania and  the  South,  144, 
145  ;  National  Committee  on, 
144,  146;  New  York  Com- 
mittee on,  137,  144,  148,  150; 
newsboys,  146-149;  obstacles 
to  measures  for  protection 
of  children,  149;  scholar- 
ships to  aid  children,  138- 
142;  statistics  for  Greater 
New  York,  158;  sweatshops 
and  children,  153-156;  typ- 
ical employment  record,  143 ; 
Washington  Conference  on, 

Clubs  and  classes  in  the  settle- 
ment, 179-184 

Columbia  University  creates  De- 
partment of  Nursing  and 
Health,  64 

Committee  of  Fifteen  (New 
York),  inquiry  of,  174 

Comte,  274 

Continuation    Schools,   necessary 

for  young  workers,    160 
Convalescents,      country      house 

for,  S,X 
Crosby,  Ernest,  234,  235,  280 

Davis,  Katherine,  268 


Responsibility  of  society  for, 
122;  special  classes  insti- 
tuted, i i 7- i 20 

De  Leon,  Daniel,  262 

Diseases   of   children   and  home 
treatment,  38-40 

Dock,  L.  L.,  266 

Doukhobors,  the,  233-235 

Drama  : 

As  a  social  force,  270-273 ; 
dramatic  instinct  of  Jewish 
child,  184;  marionette  the- 
ater, 272;  Neighborhood 
Playhouse,  185 ;  pageants 
and  plays,  184-187,  226:  Yid- 
dish plays,  270-272 

Ducey,  Father,  280 

Dunsany,  Lord,  188 


Bureau  of  vocational  guidance 
proposed,  160;  continuation 
schools  necessary,  160;  edu- 
cational ideals  and  the  s  t 
tlement,  133;  effects  of  dis- 
organized tenement  life  on, 
110-113;  Federal  Children's 

Bureau,  57.  i<>3.  '65.  l66- 
167,  168;  foreign  pres<  n^ 
Americanizing  influence, 
307;  hardships  endnr 
99-103;  institutional  life  and 
the  child,  124-13-':  necessity 
for  early  care  and  training. 
133 ;  responsibility  for  de- 
fectives, 122 ;  scholarships, 


138,  141,  150;  special  train- 
ing for  defectives  instituted, 
117-120;  study-rooms  at  the 
settlement,     103     (see     also 
Public  Schools) 
Educational  Alliance,  The,  308 
Empress   of   Austria,   assassina- 
tion of,  275 

Factory      law      (New      York) 

amended,  210 

Farrell,  Elizabeth,  117,  120 
Federal    Children's    Bureau,    57, 

163,  165,  166,  167,  1 68 
Forward  Association,  The,  264 

Gapon,  Father,  230 
Gershuni,  238 
Gordin,  Jacob,  270,  271 
Greeks     of     New     York     give 
"Ajax,"  226 

Henry  Street: 

Instruction  in  home  nursing 
begun  in  old  building  on,  3; 
its  links  with  city's  past, 
169;  physical  changes  of 
twenty  years,  308 

Home  and  School  Visitor,  The, 


Children's  diseases  and,  38- 
40;  first  school  for  mid- 
wives  in  Bellevue,  59; 
large  numbers  of  city  sick 
unable  to  avail  themselves 
of,  28 

Housekeeping  centers,  108,  109 

Hughes,  Charles  Evans,  259,  293 

Ibsen,  Henrik,  188,  272 

Illiteracy,  113,  H4 


Bureau  of  Industries  and  Im- 
migration created,  293 ;  con- 
ditions of,  in  labor  camps, 
294-297;  contributions  of,  to 
national  life,  305,  306;  dan- 
gers and  early  trials  of,  286- 
293 ;  discrimination  against, 
300-302 ;  further  restriction 
of  immigration  contrary  to 
American  institutions,  290, 

304;  land  and  the,  298-300; 
positive  governmental  action 
and  constructive  social 
measures  needed,  291 ;  postal 
savings  banks  and,  298 

Industrial  conditions: 

Programmes  of  betterment, 
25 ;  unemployment  in  1893- 
1894,  17;  wretched  condi- 
tions impress  Henry  Street 
workers  from  the  beginning, 
25 ;  youth  and  trades  unions, 
201-215  (see  also  Child  La- 
bor and  Sweatshops) 

Industrial      Workers      of      the 
World,  2/8 

Infant  mortality: 

Federal  Children's  Bureau  re- 
port on,  57;  social  disease, 


Institutional    life,    disadvantages 

of,  for  children,  124-132 

Ancient  customs  preserved 
among,  69;  celebration  of 
saints'  days,  252 ;  daily  news- 
paper publishes  Constitution, 
308 ;  marionette  theaters, 
272 ;  preyed  upon  by  quack 
doctors,  37 ;  tragic  experi- 
ence of  Italian  immigrant, 

"Jephthah's  Daughter,"  186 


Cycle  of  Hebrew  festivals  at 
Henry  Street,  184;  difficul- 
ties of,  in  complex  new 
world,  252-254;  dramatic  in- 
stinct of  Jewish  child,  184; 
Talmud-Torah  Schools  and 
Chedorim,  253;  value  put 
upon  education  by,  97-100; 
wedding  customs,  216-219; 
Yiddish  plays,  270-272;  Yid- 
dish press,  307 ;  Zionism,  254 

Kant,  274 

Kelley,  Florence,  144 
Kellor,  Frances,  293,  294 
Kennan,  George,  238,  239 
Kindness  of  poor  to  each  other, 
17-20,  70 


Kishineff  massacre,  229 
Knights  of  Labor,  263,  281 
Kropotkin,  Prince,  222,  234,  235, 
238,  276 

Land,  The,  and  the  immigrant, 

Lathrop,  Julia,  166 

Lawrence  strike,  The,  278,  279 

Le  Moyne,  Sarah  Cowell,  188 

Life  insurance  and  nursing  serv- 
ice, 62 

Literacy  test  for  immigrants, 
304,  305 

Lowell,  Josephine  Shaw,  14 

McGlynn,  Edward,  280 
McRae,   Mrs.,   13-17 
Maude,  Aylmer,  233 
Mazzini,  208 
Medical  etiquette: 

And    nursing    service,    30-36; 

its  analogies  with  the  "  closed 

shop,"   34 
Metropolitan    Museum    of    Art, 

petition  for  Sunday  opening 

of,  80 

Midwives,  57-60 
Milk  stations,  55,  56 
Morbidity,  statistics  of,  37,  38 
Murphy,  Edgar  Gardner,  144 

National  Organization  for  Pub- 
lic Health  Nursing,  64 

National  Playground  Associa- 
tion, 81 


"Lincoln  House,"  162;  pecul- 
iar problems  of,  162,  163 ;  re- 
stricted opportunities  for,  in 
industry,  162 

Neighborhood    Playhouse,    The, 

Nursing  service: 

Co-operation  with  Board  of 
Health,  45 ;  co-ordination 
with  educational  institutions, 
63 ;  Department  of  Nursing 
and  Health  at  Columbia 
University,  64;  development 
of,  throughout  country,  44, 
60;  division  into  districts, 
42;  effect  of  new  basis,  27, 

28;  etiquette  of,  j;  ;  honored 
by  Alt.  Holyoke  degree,  • 

life    in -.uraia  e   comp  •.,\i 

62 ;   new   era   in    d 
of,  60,  61  ;  nurse>   for  public 
SchooU,  51-53  ;  po-t  K'-'tdu. 
training     in     settlement,     ' 
principles  of,  _•<>,  _•-,  29;  p: 
fessional    etiquette    and,    .^O- 
36;    Public    Health    Nursing, 
division   of,  created    in 
York   State,    .}'>  -department 
of,   in   Columbia    t'nivcr-dty, 
64 — National       (  Jrxani.vition 
for,   64;    staff   of    settlement 
increased,  41,  4 j 

Outdoor  Recreation  League,  85, 

Pageants,      festas,      and      street 
dances,  184,  214,  215,  226,  2  j 

Picnics  and  day  parties,  77-/(>,  89 

Play,  children  and,  66-96 


In  Henry  Street  Settlement's 
back  yard,  81-84;  movement 
throughout  country  in  favor 
of,  96;  Outdoor  Recreation 
League,  85,  86 ;  playgrounds 
"at  no  matter  what  cost," 
06;  public  schools  used  for, 
87 ;  Seward  Park,  86 

Postal  savings  banks  and  the  im- 
migrant, 298 

Pouren,  Jan,  236-238 

Protocol  established  in  cloak- 
makers'  strike,  284,  285 

Prudhon,  276 

Public  Health  Nursing,  division 
of,  created  in  Columbia 
University,  64 ;  in  New  York 
State,  46;  National  Organ- 
ization for,  64 

Public  schools: 

Cooking  instruction  in,  107; 
doctors  appointed  for,  40- 
51  ;  first  class  for  ungraded 
pupils  in,  117-120;  infect-'  >us 
diseases  and,  46-53  ;  opened 
as  recreation  centers.  87: 
Penny  Lunches  for,  100 ;  re- 
sponsibility for  defectives, 



114-123;  settlement  seeks  to 
co-operate  with  and  supple- 
ment, 105 ;  stronghold  of 
democracy,  133 ;  trachoma 
in,  50;  trained  nurses  in,  51- 

Quack  doctors  and  the  poor,  36, 

Red  Cross  (American)  : 

An  agency  providing  "  moral 
equivalents  for  war,"  61 ; 
Department  of  Town  and 
Country  Nursing,  61 

Riis,  Jacob,  67 

Roosevelt,  Theodore,  125,  164, 
1 66,  236,  237 

Russian  freedom: 

Case  of  Jan  Pouren,  236-238; 
Friends  of,  in  New  York, 
235 ;  Katharine  Breshkovsky, 
238-248;  Russian  visitors  at 
Henry  Street,  231-233 ;  Rus- 
sia's struggle  our  struggle, 
248;  spiritual  force  of,  on 
East  Side,  229;  woman  suf- 
frage and,  268 

Russian  Revolution,  229,  230; 
New  York  Committee,  231, 

Scholarships   for    children    who 

work  : 

"Alva  Scholarship,"  150; 
chart  showing  statistics  of, 
141 ;  Henry  Street  system, 
138 ;  New  York  Child  Labor 
Committee  Scholarship,  150 


Adherents  of  all  creeds  work 
together  in,  254;  birth  of 
idea,  2 ;  developments  and 
opportunities  for  service, 
309,  310;  College  Settlement 
(New  York),  10;  Union 
Settlement,  58 ;  University 
Settlement,  137 

Sex  hygiene,  instruction  in,   198 

Shaw,  George  Bernard,  188 

"  Shepherd,  The,"  185 

Shirtwaist  strike,  The,  209,  210 

"  Silver  Box,"  The,  185 

Social  forces: 

Drama,  270-273;  politics,  255- 
272;  radicalism,  276-279;  re- 
ligion, 249-254 ;  socialism, 
262-266;  social  reform,  279- 
285;  woman  suffrage,  266- 

Social  halls  and  meeting-places: 
Cafes,  bookshops,  and  saloons, 
273-275;  Clinton  Hall,  185, 
225,  227,  260;  need  for,  219; 
Social  Halls  Association, 
225,  226 

Socialist  movement  in  America, 

Social  Reform  Club,  279 

Southern     Educational     Confer- 
ence, 104 

Spahr,  Charles  B.,  280 

Spinoza,  274 

"  Spoken   Newspaper,  The,"  263 

Study-rooms  and  libraries  in  the 
settlement,  103,  104 

Sukloff,  Marie,  238 

Summer  scenes  on  the  East  Side, 


Conditions  in,  152-155,  281 ; 
conferences  on,  282 ;  protocol 
of  1910,  284;  restriction  of, 

Taft,  William  Howard,  166 

Tammany  Hall,  256-258 

Terry,  Ellen,  188 

Thoreau,  Henry  D.,  277 

Tolerance,     religious,     instances 
of,  21-23 

Tolstoi,  Leo,  233-235,  276 

Trades  unions: 

Difficulty  of  organizing  women 
and  girls,  203 ;  early  organ- 
izations of  girl  workers,  203- 
206;  shirtwaist  strike,  209; 
Women's  Trade  Union 
League,  206,  207 ;  Youth  and, 

Triangle   fire   and   investigation, 
208,  209,  212 

Tschaikowsky,  N.,  238,  268 

Tuberculosis,  system  of  care  and 
instruction  of  patients,  S3,  £4 

INDEX  31? 

Vacation  houses  and  camps,  90-      "Whither,"    by    Morris    Rosen- 

-IT         ^  fd(l,    J(M> 

Vocational  Guidance  and  Indus-      Whitman,  Walt 

1*  proposcd 

Waring,,,  4  !;       to^g       . 


Children,  125